Obama Address to Wrap Up Big News Day
Here's what to look for today, as the markets close out a pretty bleak week:
- At 8:30 a.m., the Labor Department is set to release its October jobs numbers. Economists expect a loss of 200,000 jobs for the month, driving the national unemployment rate from 6.1 percent to 6.3 percent.
UPDATED, 8:32 a.m.: The U.S. unemployment rate hit 6.5 percent in October, the Labor Department said. Employers shed 240,000 jobs, following drops of 127,000 in August and 284,000 in September. That brings the number of jobs lost in 2008 so far to 1.2 million. (Read more details here)
The jobless rate was the highest since March 1994 and up from 6.1 percent in September.
- At 10 a.m., we'll see how much the credit crunch prevented people from getting mortgages. The National Association of Realtors will release its quarterly pending home sales index.
- Troubled auto giant General Motors plans to release its third-quarter earnings at about 10:30 a.m. this morning, and the news should be about as pretty as a '73 Vega.
Let us be clear here: The world's top automaker, the giant of American industry through the 20th century, is in real danger of no longer existing.
If the automaker can make it to 2010, union concessions will kick in and GM will be able to take as much as $4,000 out of the cost of producing every car. But GM may not make it until 2010. Economists expect the company to say it is hemorrhaging cash at a rate of a jaw-dropping $1 billion per month.
- All of this sets up for the big kahuna this afternoon: President-elect Obama will hold a news conference on the economy, following a summit in Chicago with his economics brain team. Appearing with Obama will be a living Mount Rushmore of leftward/centrist economic thinkers, including:
- World's richest man and Washington Post Co. director Warren Buffett, chiming in by spearkerphone.
- Google chairman Eric Schmidt.
- Former Clinton Treasury secretaries Larry Summers and Bob Rubin.
- Time Warner chairman (and Rockefeller Republican) Dick Parsons.
- Former Carter and Reagan Fed chief Paul Volcker.
- Democratic Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
The Ticker is Twittering!
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