Thursday, May 31, 2012

What Hath May Wrought? More Economic Malaise...

Sorry, small investors!

If the stock market is truly a leading indicator (and it tends to be one of the more reliable ones), then the Obama campaign had better start worrying. May has been a brutal month for the Dow. It closed May 1 at 13,279.  As it approached 2PM today, it’s at 12,390, down 29 on the day. That’s a decline of approximately 7% percent for the month, wiping out all the gains since Jan. 1.

Sorry, unemployed Americans!

New claims for unemployment benefits rose last week for the fourth straight week, which could heighten concerns the labor market recovery is softening.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 383,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

The prior week's figure was revised up to 373,000 from the previously reported 370,000.
Claims have now risen in seven of the last eight weeks...

Sorry, small business owners looking for rising tide!

The U.S. economy grew more slowly in the first quarter than previously estimated, reflecting smaller gains in inventories and bigger government cutbacks.

Gross domestic product climbed at a 1.9 percent annual rate from January through March, down from a 2.2 percent prior estimate, revised Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The report also showed corporate profits rose at the slowest pace in more than three years and smaller wage gains at the end of 2011.

Sorry, semiconductor industry!

I work at a large semiconductor company who does a LOT of business with Chinese firms (odds are many is not most of the electronic devices you have that say “made in China” on it buys it’s most expensive parts from us). recently orders have dropped precipitously. We are expecting to reduce the workforce before the end of the quarter by dropping contractor (temp) labor. We are entering what for the semiconductor industry is the Christmas sales season and the orders are going DOWN! Be afraid. Be very afraid.

I'm not.  Because the job figures for May come out tomorrow, and with more and more Americans dropping out of the work force, the unemployment rate will just as likely drop as not! And Barack Obama will tell us that is because his economic plan is working, and only more of the same (taxing and spending) can keep us afloat!

It's all OK.  If you can ignore the signs all around you, of course...

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