In Business and Financial News:
Stay the Course…
Wednesday, Federal Reserve officials emerged from their two-day meeting with their easy money program still intact and no clear indication when they would begin to start the pull back. In a statement after the policy meeting wrapped up, the central bank said that it will keep buying $85 billion a month in bonds to keep long term interest rates low and encourage more borrowing and spending in the economy. The Fed said that the U.S. economy still needed its support of the low interest-rate policies, as it is growing only moderately. The only real notable change from the committee’s policy statement in September was the panel’s thought that the housing market has slowed somewhat in recent months.
On Friday, retailers and grocers get a new strain on the bottom line to worry about. Friday is the day that the temporary boost in food-stamp benefits expires. The change in benefits will leave 48 million American with less than an estimated $16 billion to spend over the next three years.
On the business side, the cut will impact the grocers, discounters, dollar stores and gas stations that depend heavily on low-income shoppers. Weaker spending from the already stressed low-income shopper has already had an impact on retailers, including Walmart and Target, as the chains have lowered their sales forecast for the rest of the year ahead of the holiday shopping season.
ADP announced its monthly private sector jobs report for October on Wednesday. The report showed U.S. businesses added 130,000 jobs, way under the 150,000 jobs economists had forecasted. The 16-day partial government shutdown slowed an already weak job market. The report also included a revision for September from 166,000 to 145,000 jobs that were created, showing the job market was already weaker before the shutdown on Oct. 1. The September revision of 145,000 jobs created was the fewest jobs created for the ADP survey since April.
In The Markets:
Shares in Asia were down on Thursday. Investors were spooked by lower earnings and the Fed staying status quo because of continued weakness in the US economy.
Europe closed mostly flat on Wednesday as investors waited to see if the Fed would keep QE going.
US markets closed in the red Wednesday. After the Fed’s statement showed little change in wording investors are back on the speculation train. Will taper start this year or next year? DJIA: -61.78 15618.57 S&P: -8.66 15618.57 NASDAQ: -21.72 3930.62
In Dinner or Drink:
1/4 oz. apricot brandy
1/4 oz. dark rum
1 1/2 oz. gold rum
1/2 oz. pineapple juice
Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.
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