Week of April 1st – April 5th:
Dow: 14,578 (-0.1% last week, +11.1% YTD)
S&P 500: 1,569 (-1.0% last week, +8.9% YTD)
Links Worth Snacking On:
- Chart of the Week - March Madness upsets by the numbers
- Bloomberg - The top 20 “green” banks of 2012
- Wall Street Oasis - The 5 benefits to working in the back office in finance
- WSJ - How much has the Madison Square Garden arena renovation helped MSG stock?
- The Economist - Why has Canada killed off the penny?
- The Accelerators - Should startups not hire M.B.A.s?
- Market Oracle - The unique seasonal factors affecting the monthly jobs report
- Businessweek - The million dollar endorsement…in lacrosse
Tired from the traditional cultural highlights of Cancun and Nassau? Spring Break can be rough. But those daiquiri-infused migraines are in the books. The 2nd quarter kicked off on Wall Street last week with a big focus on jobs data.
#1. March Non-Farm Payrolls Report Disappoints
Stocks dropped Friday after the major monthly employment report tossed up a brick. The Labor Dep’t announced that only 88K jobs were added in March (notably lower than the hefty 200K expected). And the unemployment rate fell from 7.7% to 7.6%, but mostly because of folks dropping out of the workforce. No Cinderella story here.
#2. A Big Week for Cars
Detroit flat out enjoyed its best month since May ’07. Ford and GM gave Michigan something to not be scared about – record high monthly and quarterly sales for many new models. Plus West Coast electric car newbieTesla plugged into the fun by saying it would turn a profit for the first time.
#3. Stock Winners…
Best Buy doesn’t’ make good cookies – so they’re opening internal boutiqueSamsung stores to get you to visit. Facebook shares rose after Zuckerberg revealed a new operating system/app hybrid for Android phones that’s ideal for stalkers/creeps. And investors are betting big on Zynga‘s new gambling games.
#4. …Stock Losers
Shares of struggling Hewlett-Packard took a hit on gossip the company’s Chairman Raymond Lane is jumping ship to to bigger/better things. And Panasonic suffered on allegations from the deadly SEC/Department of Justice combo that one of their Cali-based subsidiaries was engaging in business bribes (though few bribes are good bribes).
#5. Bank of Japan’s “Operation Q-Squared” Surprise
The Bank of Japan lit a fire under the markets on Thursday by announcing a stimulus program that was actually insane. The historically conservative central bank is under new leadership that’s determined to end Japan’s 20-year streak of low growth by pumping absurd quantities of money (yen) into the economy by purchasing long-term bonds, similar to the quantitative easing program we have here in the US, but with a black belt. The new program is hoped to lower interest rates, spur investment and generate higher exports from the East Asian nation.
What MarketSnacks Is Checking Out This Week:
- Monday - The 1st quarter earnings season kicks off with Alcoa
- Tuesday - NFIB Small Biz Survey
- Wednesday - Minutes from the Fed’s last meeting
- Thursday - Weekly Jobless Claims
- Friday - Reuters/UMich Consumer Sentiment Poll for April