More dismal economic news. But don’t you worry…according to Barry, it’s just a bump in the road.
Stocks fell sharply Friday, posting a sixth straight weekly loss — longest losing streak since the fall of 2002.
The 1.4% drop came a day after the market broke its longest losing streak in more than a year.
The market’s last seven-week stretch of losses began in May 2001, as the dot-com bubble deflated.
Stocks have suffered this month after a raft of weak economic news dampened hopes for a speedy recovery. Traders fear that weaker hiring, industrial output, and a moribund housing market are reversing a bull market that lifted the Dow Jones industrial average 20% the past year.
New unemployment claims spiked by 25,000 last week.
WASHINGTON — The number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week by the largest amount in three months. The big surge was a setback to hopes that layoffs were declining.
The Labor Department says that applications for unemployment benefits rose to 471,000 last week, up by 25,000 from the previous week. It was the first increase in five weeks and the biggest jump since a gain of 40,000 in February.
The forecast had been for claims to fall by around 4,000 from the previous week. The unexpectedly large rise in new claims underscored that even though the economy is growing, improvements in the labor market are coming in fits and starts.
Meanwhile, the Dow
is down almost 300 points. It’s a damn good thing the Democrats passed that stimulus bill last year, huh?
Even the New York Times can’t ignore the facts, although they don’t mention that the stimulus was supposed to prevent unemployment from reaching 8.8%.
For all the pain caused by the Great Recession, the job market still was not in as bad shape as it had been during the depths of the early 1980s recession — until now.
With the release of the jobs report on Friday, the broadest measure of unemployment and underemployment tracked by the Labor Department has reached its highest level in decades. If statistics went back so far, the measure would almost certainly be at its highest level since the Great Depression.
In all, more than one out of every six workers — 17.5 percent — were unemployed or underemployed in October. The previous recorded high was 17.1 percent, in December 1982.
This includes the officially unemployed, who have looked for work in the last four weeks. It also includes discouraged workers, who have looked in the past year, as well as millions of part-time workers who want to be working full time.
The official jobless rate — 10.2 percent in October, up from 9.8 percent in September — remains lower than the early 1980s peak of 10.8 percent.
The rate is highest today, sometimes 20 percent, in states that had big housing bubbles, like California and Arizona, or that have large manufacturing sectors, like Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island and South Carolina.
Way to go, Barry.
Consumers are not so stimulated these days.
Major stock market indexes fell after the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index showed households felt gloomier about their current situation and less optimistic about what the coming months might bring.
Kevin Kruszenski, head of listed trading at Keybanc Capital Markets in Cleveland, said the confidence data “kind of took the wind out of things a little bit.”
Investors had been in a somewhat better mood since an early March trough as economic data suggested the pace of the recession was slackening. But with no clear sign that growth is about to resume, sentiment has begun to fade in recent weeks.
The consumer confidence index fell to 49.3 in June from 54.8 in May. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a healthier reading of 55.0 for the month.
So much for saving or creating 4 million jobs.
The White House says double-digit unemployment is coming sooner than previously acknowledged.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the president expects the nation will reach 10 percent unemployment within the next few months.
In an interview with Bloomberg last week, President Barack Obama said he expected the nation to reach 10 percent unemployment sometime this year.
The current unemployment rate reached a 25-year high of 9.4 percent in May.
While many analysts expect the recession to end by late summer, they warn that unemployment will stay high into next year.
Congratulations, President Obama. You are now the official owner of this recession.