In The News:
It’s jobs week again… First up, the ADP report which was released Thursday. The ADP report showed the private sector added 176,000 jobs in August: a good solid number. However, it was less than the 180K analysts were calling for and less than the number of jobs added in either June or July. Monthly job growth has averaged this year around 192,000 a month; however, the pace is starting to slow, according to the Labor Department.
One reason analysts believe is behind the slowdown: the new health care laws requiring companies to provide full time workers with health insurance or pay a penalty. Fewer workers: less money companies have to pay either in penalties or premiums. Bottom Line: it doesn’t matter what side of the health care laws you are on, US companies large and small are concerned.
Staying the Same…
The ECB (European Central Bank) left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.5%. The central bank decided that the slow Eurozone economic recovery did not need further stimulus for now. The bank’s decision is seen as a statement to the world that the ECB will not be scaling back its stimulus efforts until the recovery is on stronger footing. Low rates are a necessity for a Eurozone recovery. Cheap credit encourages business to borrow and expand. Borrowing in the region remains weak despite data out the last couple of weeks showing a little brighter economic picture.
On Thursday, a coalition of union, religious and civil groups launched protests at Walmart (WMT) stores in 15 U.S. cities. They were the largest demonstrations since last fall, organizers said. The protests were part of a larger set of protests, strikes, and other labor actions launched in the last month seeking to organize low paid workers. The protestors‘ focus on Walmart and other large employers of low wage workers, like fast food restaurants, was to allow for better wages, healthcare, and a stop to discrimination against employees who are speaking out.
At the center of the controversy is a union-backed group calling itself the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR WalMart). The group, which is comprised of irate workers, has been rallying for better pay and conditions since 2011. Among the group: 80 Wal-Mart employees who were either disciplined or fired by the company following a June walkout. Bottom Line: wage equality shouldn’t and isn’t going away soon.
Maybe it’s not a good thing..
JC Penney decided to do away with the home goods line by Martha Stewart. Penney CEO Mike Ullman was quoted “Her designs aren’t that great. They’re not selling and they’re nothing that your normal Joe Schmoe can’t come up with.”. The battle with Macy’s over the Martha Stewart line should expect a ruling next week. Shares of the big box retailer jumped 5.3% on Thursday. I’d like to see Mike cook a juicy turkey!
In The Markets:
Asian markets closed mixed Friday with the big loser being Nikkei, who dropping 204 points on rumors Japan lost their Olympic bid to Madrid. Over the region investors were cautious placing their bets as the world waits for the NFP numbers due out this morning.
European markets posted solid gains Thursday. Investors liked ECB President Mario Draghi’s pledge to keep rates low for an extended period of time.
US markets closed in the green in their Thursday trading session extending a three day rally. Investors were pleased with the ADP report and are anxiously for the NFP to possible signal will taper start sooner or later. DJIA: +6.61 14937.48 S&P: +2.00 1655.08 NADSAQ: +9.74 3658.79
In Dinner or Drink:
- 1 oz.Johnnie Walker® Black Label® Blended Scotch Whisky
- 0.5 oz.sweet vermouth
- 0.25 oz.benedictine
- 1 piece(s)cherry
Glass: Martini Glass
Stir over ice and strain into a martini glass.Garnish with a cherry.
Have a safe and wonderful weekend!