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

Economy Watch: November 1, 2009 - November 7, 2009

Truer U.S. unemployment rate hits recent high of 17.5%

Each month, as regular readers know, I like to unpack the new unemployment number and get behind the data. The news this month continues to be grim. Indeed, it is climbing rapidly toward record-grim territory. The official U.S. unemployment rate...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 6, 2009; 11:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: joblessness, unemployment  
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Stocks mixed at opening following unemployment news

Wall Street opened mixed this morning following the Labor Department's announcement that the official U.S. unemployment rate has hit 10.2 percent, the highest since April 1983. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is slightly below even. The...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 6, 2009; 9:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500, unemployment  
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Cracking the 10% unemployment barrier

At 8:30 a.m. today, the Labor Department will release the October unemployment figure. Most forecasters expect the rate to rise from 9.8 percent in September to 9.9 percent in October. But they've been wrong on the downside before during this...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 6, 2009; 7:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Obama, unemployment  
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New jobless claims lowest since January -- what does that mean for tomorrow's monthly unemployment number?

New jobless claims filed last week fell to their lowest number since January in data released this morning. That's the good news. The bad news is: 512,000 new people still filed for jobless claims. That number is down from the...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 5, 2009; 9:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: jobless claims, unemployment  
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The case for the Fed raising interest rates

Any minute now, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its most recent statement on interest rates and minutes of its Federal Open Market Committee, which lets us inside the Fed's heads as they predict the U.S. economy. The Fed...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 4, 2009; 2:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Federal Reserve, Henry Blodget, inflation  
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Strong stock rally underway

UPDATED at 11: 20 a.m.: Stocks are staging a strong rally this morning, as traders anticipate that the Fed will keep interest rates near their historic low levels this afternoon. The Dow is up 1.3 percent, at 9,900, as it...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 4, 2009; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, Fed, Federal Reserve, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Gold blows through record highs, closes in on $1,100 per ounce

Gold is shooting toward $1,100 per ounce in trading today, already having blown through its record highs. What's going on? I wrote a lengthy piece on the price spike in gold in late September, when gold was on its big...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 4, 2009; 11:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: IMF, gold  
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October sales: Ford up 3%, GM up 4%, Chrysler down 32%, Toyota down 3.5%

UPDATED at 1:47 p.m. with GM: Chrysler's October sales were down 32.3 percent compared to October of last year, the company reported moments ago, a number that came in worse than Wall Street expected. Moments ago, GM reported that October...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 3, 2009; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, GM  
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Instant analysis: Why Buffett spent $34 billion to buy a railroad

UPDATED at 1:05 p.m.: As I've written before, super-investor and world's second-richest man Warren Buffett invests like an 8-year-old boy in the 1950s: He either owns outright or has big stakes in Coca-Cola, Dairy Queen and candy and chewing gum...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 3, 2009; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Burlington Northern, Coca-Cola, Dairy Queen, Warren Buffett  
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Stocks down at opening

Wall Street is down across the board this morning, as stock volatility continues. In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is down three-tenths of 1 percent. The S&P 500 is down three-tenths of 1 percent and the tech-heavy...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 3, 2009; 9:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Burlington Northern, Dow Jones, Warren Buffett, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Stocks close up after wild ride

UPDATED at 4:35 p.m. Stocks finished positive today -- somehow -- after a day that looked more like a roller coaster ride at Six Flags. (And no, that's not a bankruptcy joke.) The Dow closed up eight-tenths of 1 percent,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 2, 2009; 4:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: ISM, pending home sales  
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Bush economist: Jobs 'created or saved' figure touted by Obama is meaningless

Ed Lazear was the top economic adviser to President George W. Bush and much more of a free-marketer than the president, who ran up massive budget deficits. In an opinion piece in today's Wall Street Journal, which you can read...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 2, 2009; 11:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Edward Lazear, debt, deficit, stimulus  
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November 2, 2009

The Washington Post staff share their picks for reading around the Web. Seriously, stop worrying about hyperinflation The Atlantic | Megan McArdle offers a voice of reason countering the fears, commonplace on CNBC and in the blogosphere, that the...

By Sarah Halzack  |  November 2, 2009; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Neil Irwin's Must Reads  
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Stocks mixed at opening following Ford news

Wall Street opened mixed this morning following a surprise $1 billion profit from Ford and ahead of key construction spending and manufacturing data due out shortly. In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is up one-quarter of 1...

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 2, 2009; 9:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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