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

Economy Watch: August 30, 2009 - September 5, 2009

Why Bernanke Might Have Told Obama: Thanks, But No Thanks For Second Term

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke accepted President Obama’s nomination late last month for a second term and will undergo confirmation hearings this fall. But based on history and what Bernanke may be facing during his next four years, he may...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 4, 2009; 5:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve, Obama, Paul Volcker  
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Actual Unemployment Rate Hits All-Time High of 16.8%

As regular readers of The Ticker know, we like to hammer on the official U.S. unemployment rate versus the unofficial rate, which we believe to be a truer picture of joblessness in this country. This morning, the Labor Department said...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 4, 2009; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: unemployment  
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Markets Up Slightly Following Unemployment Hike

Wall Street opened slightly up this morning following a jump in the official U.S. unemployment rate from 9.4 percent in July to 9.7 percent in August. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is up less than 0.2...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 4, 2009; 9:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500, unemployment  
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August Retail Tally: Sales Down, But Many Beat Expectations

Several major retailers reported their August year-over-year, same-store sales figures this morning. As expected, the numbers were down compared with August of last year, but many were not down as far as forecasters expected. Further optimism on these numbers can...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 3, 2009; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Gap, J.C. Penny, Kohl's, Macy's, Nordstrom, Saks, retail  
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U.S. Service Sector Still in Contraction

The U.S. service sector is still in contraction, according to numbers out moments ago by the Institute for Supply Management, which tracks purchases by businesses. The ISM's non-manufacturing index number -- that's for the non-factory part of the U.S. economy,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 3, 2009; 10:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: ISM, service sector  
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Markets Open Up on Retail Sales Numbers

Wall Street opened up slightly this morning on stronger-than-expected retail numbers. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is up about 40 points, or less than half of 1 percent. The broader S&P 500 is up about the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 3, 2009; 9:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Last Week's New Jobless Claims: 570,000, More Than Expected

The recently unemployed filed 570,000 new unemployment claims last week, the same as the week before and 10,000 more than forecasters expected, the Labor Department reported moments ago. Continuing claims rose from 6.13 million to 6.23 million, down from 6.9...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 3, 2009; 8:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Labor Department, unemployment, weekly jobless claims  
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Will Whole Foods Boycott Work?

Whole Foods customers well know by now that John Mackey, chief executive of their beloved store, wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal last month taking the radical-to-them stance that "health care is a service that we all need,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 2, 2009; 11:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Book World, John Mackey, Whole Foods  
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July Factory Orders Disappoint As Productivity Rises

Orders to U.S. factories rose 1.3 percent in July, the Commerce Department said moments ago, missing expectations. Also today, the Labor Department said that second-quarter revised productivity rose at a revised rate of 6.6 percent, which means that people who...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 2, 2009; 10:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Commerce Department, factory orders  
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Markets Flat at Opening

Wall Street opened up slightly off this morning, despite a "giant" oil find by BP and not-so-bad jobs news. In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is essentially flat. The broader S&P 500 is down a little bit...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 2, 2009; 9:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: BP, Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Report: Aug. Employment Drop Smallest Since Sept. 2008

A privately run estimate of U.S. employment -- which is used as a predictor of the Labor Department's jobless figure -- released moments ago said that the private sector shed 298,000 jobs in August, down from 360,000 jobs lost in...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 2, 2009; 8:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: ADP, unemployment  
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Ford August Sales Surge 17%, Toyota Up 10.5%, Chrysler Down 15.4%; GM Up Since July

UPDATED at 2:43 p.m. Ford said August vehicle sales were up 17 percent compared to August of 2008, juiced by the government's cash-for-clunkers program. Toyota reported moments ago that its August sales were up 10.5 percent compared to August of...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 1, 2009; 2:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Ford, auto sales, cash for clunkers  
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Pending Home Sales, Manufacturing Up

A trio of economic data just hit moments ago, so we'll break it down like this: -- Pending home sales in July rose 3.2 percent compared with June and 12 percent compared with July 2008, according to the National Association...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 1, 2009; 10:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: ISM, construction spending, home sales  
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Markets Up Ahead of Economic Data

Wall Street opened up slightly ahead of a raft of economic data due out at 10 a.m. In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is up 42 points, or about half of 1 percent. The broader S&P 500...

By Frank Ahrens  |  September 1, 2009; 9:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, ISM, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Disney Buys Marvel For $4 Billion: What Does It Mean For the Economy?

In a previous life, The Ticker covered the media and entertainment industry and spent a lot of time caring about the Walt Disney Co. Former chief executive Michael Eisner built an animation and theme park company into a media giant,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 31, 2009; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bob Iger, Disney, Marvel, Michael Eisner  
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Markets Open Down Following China Sell-Off

Wall Street opened lower this morning, following a big sell-off in China overnight in which the country's main index dropped 6.7 percent. In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is down 80 points, or 0.8 percent. The broader...

By Frank Ahrens  |  August 31, 2009; 9:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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