Thursday, March 19, 2009
markets did, in fact, give us a little elbow room. The NASDAQ
diminished by 7.74
itself of 85.78
and the S&P
to end the day at 784.
to reach $958.80.
This would seem to me to be a normal breather in a
market that has advanced so fast. (As of yesterday, the Dow was up 15%
from last Monday's low.) But we'll see. (Rally's legs may wobble if gains based on short-covering)
At the same time, there was glum news, at least at the level of the
general public. For example, the layoff rate may still be increasing very
slightly, although it isn't exploding the way it was last October. It
appears that the economy is still on a steep downward course, although the
road isn't necessarily getting steeper. However, the unemployed and
underemployed may be expected to feel the pinch more as time goes
markets are giving us a little elbow room this morning.. This week's new
jobless claims dropped a little this week to 646,000, but the four-week
average rose to the highest level since the 1982-1983 recession (654,650,
bearing in mind that these number are said to be understating the current
unemployment rate compared to the 1982-1983 unemployment rate): Split verdict on joblessness.
will probably see a larger rate of job losses than the 651,000 we saw in
February,' wrote economists for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch."
and weaknesses were roughly balanced' in the index, said Ken Goldstein,
economist at the Conference Board. 'Financial market volatility remains
strong, and the credit market freeze is relenting very slowly.'"
no sign of a bottom, wrote Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist with High
Frequency Economics, in a research note. 'The trend remains clearly
downwards, consistent with continued outright contraction in the economy,'
Meanwhile, the prices of oil (up $2.63 a barrel)
and gold (up $65.40 an ounce) have soared, which suggests to me the
anticipation of a recovering economy and rising inflation.