Posts Tagged ‘optimism’

Amazingly, the US Department of labor reported only 524,000 jobs were lost in December. The market was almost overjoyed, as they had expected a number in the range of 650,000 to 750,000. The 524,000 did not include the “revision” to the prior months numbers downward by 154,000. Thus, adding the 154k to the 524k, one may come to a sum of 678,000, right in line with the nightmare expectations.

There is also further distortion due to a “birth-death” quotient applied by the Department of Labor, but we will not get into that here, except to say that it is currently making the reported numbers look better than they really are, rather than worse.

Other very weak numbers not reported in the headlines include:

Average workweek has declined to 33.3 hours among all employed workers in December. This is the lowest number of hours worked since Uncle Sam started watching these numbers in 1964. (Some economists anticipate that this number will correlate to another 500,000 job losses in the coming months.)

Since January 1, nine calendar days ago and 6 business days ago, major employers (those with 5,000 plus employees each) have announced job cuts of more than 30,000. On a daily basis this is an average run rate of 5,000 per day, or annualized rate of additional 1.1 million of job cuts!

Some may say that the run rate of 1.1 million is less than half of the newly unemployed of 2.5 million fellow Americans in the US during 2008, but there are numerous other facets as well.

Keep in mind, when an unemployed worker takes a job at because they must at 30%, 50% or 75% of their former compensation, they are no longer statistically unemployed.

Key numbers to continue to watch includes average compensation per hour, average numbers of hours worked, and the U6 unemployment numbers which reflect a much broader and economically relevant calculation of the unemployment levels.

Also check out http://alphainventions.com/ a great website for all new posts!

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With the Dow up more than 500 points, after breaking through 8000 on the low at about mid day, we are seeing what will likely be the rythym we will experience over the next six to none months.

There should be much optimism regarding future legislation in the first quarter of the coming year, but at the same time, great fear as to the risks facing the US and global economy.  Thus, there is great opportunity for profit given the volatility and the ability to trade quickly.

For long term investors, there is great hope that the systems will be stronger after this chaos and that growth willbe more consistent moving forward.  Bond yields should be more normalized and defaults after 6-9 months should decline.

Be careful in the short term.  The rallies make for great trading opportunities.

We are seeing credit card rates sky rocket for those who are paying and have credit cards with a balance.  What is happening to those who are not paying?  Please leave a comment, as this is important to monitor and track!

New credit card issuance is at a screaching halt.  If you are seeing new credit issuance, please let me know.

Current mortgage rates here in Florida are as low as 3%, yes 3%, with 1% points, tied to the 30 day LIBOR plus a margin.  Thus money is cheap, if you can get it.  Loan to values on mortgages on these rates is 50% for a cash out refinance and 60% for a $ for $ rate refi.  Thus, if this kind of mortgage would serve you, let me know, but for 90% of those looking to refi or buy a home, the rate is great but the LTV is too low!

I understand that the SBA is beginning to issue loans for those stressed by the economic challenges.  Let me know if you have had success!

Speak with you tomorrow!

God Bless!