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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Economy Watch: August 2, 2009 - August 8, 2009

Consumers Continue To Cut Debt

Sure, The Ticker gets tired of reporting bad economic news all day -- the bad news that happens and the bad news we see in what happens. So here's some good news: The Federal Reserve said today that U.S. consumers...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 7, 2009; 5:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: consumer spending, credit cards, debt  
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Unemployment Dips Slightly: What Does It Mean?

UPDATED with remarks from President Obama at 1:24 p.m. The official U.S. unemployment rate dipped to 9.4 percent in July from 9.5 percent in June, according to numbers out this morning from the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. What...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 7, 2009; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: recession, unemployment  
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Markets Open Up on Job News

Wall Street opened up this morning on news that the July unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent from 9.5 percent in June. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow was up about 60 points, or about 0.7 percent....

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 7, 2009; 9:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, Hilda Solis, nasdaq, s&p 500, unemployment  
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S&P 500 Hovering Around 1,000 For First Time Since November -- What's it Mean?

On Tuesday, the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index closed above 1,000 for the first time since November, a noteworthy benchmark. It has been hovering around 1,000 all week and closed down half of 1 percent at 997 today. What...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 6, 2009; 4:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bill Gross, Dow Jones, Pimco, s&p 500  
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Hacker Attack Shuts Down Twitter

Even though this doesn't strictly qualify as economic news, it's interesting for the subset of online users who use Twitter: A hacker attack has shut down the micro-blog service since about 9 a.m. today. Twitter said it is "defending against...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 6, 2009; 12:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: NFL, Twitter  
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Murdoch: I Will Start Charging for All Online News

News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, whose company owns the Fox broadcasting channel, Fox News, 20th Century Fox movie studios, the Wall Street Journal and several other media properties, said on an analyst call yesterday that he will start charging for...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 6, 2009; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: New York Times, News Corp., Rupert Murdoch, Washington Post  
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Study: Stimulus Not Yet Helping Unemployed, Poor

A Herculean, county-by-county study of per capita spending so far under the $787 billion stimulus shows that if any of the money spent so far is actually getting to the unemployed and poor, it's by pure chance. This is according...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 5, 2009; 4:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: ProPublica, bailout, stimulus plan  
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Nine States at or Near Historic Highs on Unemployment

Nine states are at or near their historic highs for unemployment, according to June numbers out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a guide, remember the official U.S. unemployment figure is 9.5 percent. The states are: -- California, at...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 5, 2009; 2:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: RealNetworks, Rob Glaser, unemployment  
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Markets Open Mixed

Wall Street opened mixed this morning, following news that private employers shed more jobs than expected in July. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is down about 16 points, or nearly flat. The S&P 500 is slightly...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 5, 2009; 9:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500, unemployment  
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Private Employers Axe 371,000 in July, But Pace Slows

Private employers shed 371,000 jobs in July, a higher number than was expected, but the pace of the cuts dropped to the slowest since October. According to the monthly ADP Employer Services report released this morning, a poll of 26...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 5, 2009; 9:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: unemployment  
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SEC Moves To Ban Freshly Discovered 'Flash Trading'

Remember that fake-fad of the early part of this century (at least in the U.S.), "flash mobs?" Well, Wall Street has been practicing something called "flash trading," a computer-aided form of stock trading that recently got noticed thanks to a...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 4, 2009; 4:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Goldman Sachs, Mary Schapiro, SEC, flash trading  
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A Hint of the Fiats Coming to America

The Ticker recently returned from a lovely vacation in Italy. We have several observations about Italy and its profound lack of large, well-iced diet soda fountain beverages, none of which are relevant to this audience. However, the picture below is....

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 4, 2009; 1:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler, Fiat, Honda, Toytoa  
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Pending Home Sales Rise in June. Verdict? Mixed.

Pending home sales rose in June for the fifth straight month, the National Association of Realtors reported this morning, as low home prices and interest rates -- and a tax credit -- juiced sales. The Realtors' index tracks contracts on...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 4, 2009; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: National Association of Realtors, home prices  
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Markets Slightly Off at Opening

Wall Street opened slightly down today, as traders digested consumer spending and personal income data. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow was down 20 points. The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq were both down about half...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 4, 2009; 9:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Commerce Department, Dow Jones, consumer spending, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Ford July Sales Up 2.3%, Juiced by 'Cash For Clunkers;' GM Plunges 19.4%, Chrysler Down 9.4%

UPDATED at 3:10 p.m. with all the majors reporting: Ford reported that July auto sales were up 2.3 percent compared to July 2008, the automaker's first monthly increase since November 2007. And it's clear that Ford is the runaway winner...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 3, 2009; 3:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler, Ford, auto sales  
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July Manufacturing News: Could Be Worse

Manufacturing in July continued to slow but at the slowest pace in a year, according to a closely watched index of the sector. According to the Institute for Supply Management, manufacturing activity crept up toward the break-even point that shows...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 3, 2009; 10:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: manufacturing  
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Markets Open Up

Wall Street opened up on the first day of the last unofficial month of summer, buoyed by optimism for July manufacturing and auto sales numbers due out today. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow was up 40...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 3, 2009; 9:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, ISM, auto sales, cash for clunkers, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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July 31, 2009

The Washington Post staff share their picks for reading around the Web. Why Are Banks Holding So Many Excess Reserves? New York Fed | Economists at the New York Fed explain why banks have so much money parked at...

By washingtonpost.com Editor  |  August 2, 2009; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Neil Irwin's Must Reads  
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