Friday, December 4, 2009

Quick Notes for the Day - December 4

Jobs Data Points to Slowing Job Losses - Unemployment Improves to 10% - The Labor Department reported that the labor market has dramatically improved over the past several months with the unemployment rate improving to 10%. Nonfarm payrolls dropped by a seasonally adjusted 11,000 in November which is the fewest since December 2007. Payroll losses in September and October were both revised lower by a total of 159,000 which helped lead to the revision in the unemployment figure. Analysts had expected job losses to be over 100,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to remain at 10.2%.

Oil, Gold Both Drop on Stronger Dollar and Jobs Data - Well, it looks like the continued rise in gold was put on hold for at least one day as gold futures dropped more than 4% or $50 on a stronger dollar and a much better jobs report. Crude oil also had fallen on the stronger dollar by about 1%.

October Factory Order Rise - The Commerce Department reported that orders for factory goods increased 0.6% in October. October marks the six month out of the last seven that factory orders have risen. Factory orders were led by a 1.6% rise in nondurable-goods orders. Core capital equipment orders fell 3.4% in October, revised down from a 2.9% fall estimated a week ago, the government said. Inventories rose 0.4% in October, the first gain following 13 straight declines.

Fed Futures See Interest Rate Increases in August - Interest-rate futures indicated traders expect that the Federal Reserve will increase its target rate by August 2010 on the basis of the better than expected jobs data this morning. The August 2010 fed funds contract indicated traders expect rates to rise to 0.50% by then, compared to a 0.34% rate a week ago and from the current range of zero to 0.25%. Futures for December 2010 show traders expect the benchmark rate to be 0.94% by then, compared to 0.81% on Thursday.

Obama Says Jobs Data Good - But Not Good Enough - "We have a lot more work to do before we can celebrate," Obama said at previously scheduled Allentown, PA town hall event to discuss jobs. "Too many members of our American family have felt the gut punch of a pink slip."

"Every one of us knows someone who has been swept up by this storm." The steps taken earlier this year "have helped turn the tide," he said, promising to announce more ideas "to help jumpstart private sector hiring and get Americans back to work."

In the Q&A section of the event, he was pressed on small business credit issues and healthcare which he stated he was working with Congress to address both issues.

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