Daily Investment Interpretations

April 2, 2009

2009-4-2:  Today, the markets rose substantially for the third day in a row. The NASDAQ added 51.03 points (3.29%) to close at 1,603, the Dow climbed 216.48 (2.79%) to 7,978, and the S&P 500 increased 23.30 (2.87%) to close at 798. Oil was unchanged at $52.21, and gold lost $18.80 to $908.90: The VIX fell 1.86 to 42.04.
    The day's news began with the announcement that the four-week average of initial jobless claims, at 656,750, has reached its highest level since October, 1982: 
Relentlessly higher jobless filings. The four-week average for continuing claims also rose, up 163,500 to a record 5.6 million. Meanwhile, the insured unemployment rate rose to 4.3% from 4.2%, the highest level since May, 1983. "'
Needless to say, these are terrible numbers, especially the continuing claims figure, which really is disturbing,' wrote Dan Greenhaus of the equity strategy group at Miller Tabak." "On Friday, the government will report nonfarm payrolls for March, and analysts polled by MarketWatch are looking for about 660,000 job losses as well as an unemployment rate of 8.5%."
    At the current layoff rate, it would take about four more months for the official  unemployment rate to reach double-digit levels.
    It's interesting to me that last fall, layoffs were everywhere in the news. Now, you rarely see a news item that mentions layoffs(?).

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