Yes, a midweek day off for America’s birthday made this an awkward market week, but key econ data always kicks off a new month and new quarter. The main event was the official government jobs report: Expectations were low after last month’s disappointment…and on Friday the Labor Department announced that only 80,000 jobs were added in June and the unemployment rate remained stubbornly stuck at 8.2%. In case you didn’t fully comprehend how serious the post-2008 financial crisis has been, the unemployment rate has been north of 8% for 41 straight months – and in the 60 years before 2009 this was the case for only 39 months total.
Econ data has been coming in so bad recently across Planet Earth that 3 major central banks Thursday (Europe, England and China) initiated stimulus measures. The Central Banks of China and England decreased benchmark Yao-high borrowing rates and purchased Big-Ben sized amounts of assets, which investors interpreted as only a bad sign of weak global economies. A key manufacturing index showed contraction in the US – not a positive sign for productivity – but non-manufacturing activity (which accounts for 90% of our GDP) is still growing, albeit at the rate of a tortoise.
And in corporate news, some early week acquisitions by Dell and Bristol-Myers Squib got things off to an exciting start, but the real headline was the Barclays‘ CEO stepping down after last week’s interest rate-fixing scandal. We’re grabbing a jumbo box of popcorn (if that’s still okay with Mayor Bloomberg) and hitting the couch to watch the corporate earnings season kick off this week beginning with Alcoa, the mining company who everyone looks to when they kick of the earnings season, tomorrow.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.8% on the week as more evidence builds of a global slowdown…
Links Worth Snacking On:
CNNMoney – What’s holding back the American Economy? The frightening “Fiscal Cliff” looming on January 1st
The Street - From Harley Davidson to Louisville Slugger, 10 things still made in the USA
The Economist – The Good of Italy, the bad of Italy…Forza, Italia is a dying slogan that may only hold water on the soccer pitch (Book Review)
Graphics – The nexus of American history, finance, and laziness. Decade by decade infographic on American financial history
- Monday – May Consumer Credit, Alcoa reports 2nd quarter earnings
- Tuesday – NFIB Small Business Survey
- Wednesday – May US Trade Deficit
- Thursday – June Federal Budget deficit/surplus, Weekly Jobless Claims
- Friday – Reuters/University of Michigan Preliminary June Consumer Confidence Poll, JP Morgan reports 2nd quarter earnings