Friday, August 7, 2009

Quick Notes for the Day - August 7

Jobless Rate Drops to 9.4% - The Labor Department reported Friday morning that the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell back to 9.4%. The report also stated that job losses slowed in July to the lowest total since August. Nonfarm payrolls continued to a 19 month streak of losses by falling 247,000 in July, but this was better than the economists predictions of a decline of 275,000 jobs. Overall, most industries continued to cut jobs in July, but at a much slower pace than they did over the past year.

AIG Makes a Profit - Since we are all "shareholders" in AIG since the US government owns 80% of the company, it was nice to see AIG make a profit. The company reported its first profit since 2007 and easily beat estimates by earning $1.82 billion ($2.30 a share) in the second quarter versus a loss of $5.36 billion ($41.13 a share) last year. Second-quarter 2009 adjusted net income was $2.0 billion. AIG reported total revenue for the second quarter of $29.52 billion up from last year's $19.93 billion.

Cash for Clunkers Will Continue Through Labor Day - President Obama signed a bill that funnels $2 billion to the "cash for clunkers" trade-in program. The money, approved by the Senate Thursday night, will allow the program to continue through Labor Day. It offers consumers up to $4,500 to trade in older, less fuel-efficient vehicles and buy new, more fuel-efficient ones.

Russia Cuts Interest Rates to 10.75% - While The Fed has us sitting between 0.0 and 0.25% on interest rates, Russia's central bank cut its key lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point to an astronomical 10.75%. The bank said it decided to make "a more cautious cut," news reports said, after trimming the rate by half a percentage point in each of the four previous moves. Additionally, while US inflation is non-existent at the current time, Russia's inflation rate in July was an incredible 12%.

No comments: