There’s a fair bit of economic frufru this morning: We begin with a note that the Fed will have a rate (non) decision later on in the afternoon and the ECB has just announced (contrary to market hype) that they will do nothing on rates at today’s meeting. Immediately, gold popped about $8 bucks. The ECB also jabbering about “designing modalities for fiscal measures.” WeTF that means.
It does mean the US stock market ought to move into a blowoff jump at the open today since stocks are sort of like real estate, anymore: Sensitive to inflation – and when inflation is going up, gold, stocks, and such move up, bonds down and yada, yada.
But while that is going on, we have to note that the jobs picture seems to be stabilizing, at least judging by the latest job cut report from Challenger, Gray, and Christmas:
“CHICAGO, August 2, 2012 – Planned layoffs declined for the second consecutive month in July, as employers announced job cuts totaling 36,855, down 2.0 percent from 37,551 in June, according to the latest job cuts report released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
Job cuts last month were down 45 percent from a year ago, when employers announced plans to cut 66,414 workers from their payrolls in July. This is just the third time this year employers announced fewer cuts than the same month in 2011.
Overall, employers have announced 319,946 job cuts so far this year. The pace of downsizing is virtually even with a year ago; up just 2.5 percent from the 312,220 planned layoffs announced from January through July.”
Set an alarm for tomorrow’s unemployment report. I’m going out on a limb here and predicting an 0.2 percent improvement to be followed by all kinds of wind and hot air out of Washington, but we’ll just look at the underlying labor participation rate, the PhD flipping burgers index, and the number of “made up” jobs in tomorrow’s report before we go popping the bubbly.
Stories That Make Us Wonder
So out comes the tale from Syria this morning about how rebels snatched a tank and turned it on the Syrian army. That kind of thing is interesting. But not nearly as interesting as the Reuters story: “Exclusive: Obama authorized secret US support for Syrian rebels.”
If it’s secret, how come we are reading about it?
Also on war fronts: A former Mossad fellow is saying Iran should fear the next 12 weeks.
Gender Marketing Showdown
Shades of the OK Coral: Marketing folks have turned this into “Show support for Chick-Fil-A Day.” We are already gearing up for first reports of someone being slammed with a side of thighs. It’s a story we can sink our teeth into?
San Bernardino Banko
Filed. Like there’s not dozens of others in the wings.
And the battle to pick the bones of Stockton’s BK is also ongoing.
HUMONGOUS Wet Spot
Taiwan got about five feet of rain from a typhoon going through the area. You’d think with all the exports they do, a shipment of rain for the parched middle of the US wouldn’t be too much to ask.
Gas Price Driver?
Might be seeing the price of fuel going up in the Oklahoma area since there’s been an explosion and fire at a refinery in the Tulsa area overnight.
More after this…