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

Economy Watch: March 28, 2010 - April 3, 2010

Obama: 'Encouraging day' despite no change in 9.7% unemployment rate

A total of 162,000 new jobs were created on non-farm payrolls--the biggest one-month jobs gain in the past three years, but still well below what economists were predicting.

By Frank Ahrens  |  April 2, 2010; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (314)
Categories:  The Ticker , Unemployment  | Tags: Obama, jobless rate, unemployment  
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Jamie Dimon to shareholders: It's wrong to assume big firms inherently are risky

Jamie Dimon, chief executive of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., sent out a 36-page letter to shareholders of the mega-bank on Wednesday night, and sounded a little feisty in parts. To read the entire letter, click here (pdf). Here are...

By Frank Ahrens  |  April 1, 2010; 6:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Congress , The Ticker , Wall Street  | Tags: JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, compensation, regulation  
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Barney Frank takes eye-popping step of permanently shunning ex-staffer

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is well known as a man of opinions, barbs and temper. But this statement just released from his Financial Services Committee, which he chairs, is exceptional in its vitriol. It amounts to a shunning of former...

By Frank Ahrens  |  April 1, 2010; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Congress , The Ticker  | Tags: Barney Frank, House Financial Services, Peter Robertson, derivatives  
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March sales: Toyota up 41%, Ford up 40%, GM up 21%, Honda up 23%, Chrysler down 8%

UPDATED at 2:57 p.m. Toyota beat management predictions for March sales, saying today that sales last month were up 41 percent compared to March 2009. Toyota officials had said March sales could be as high as 40 percent compared with...

By Frank Ahrens  |  April 1, 2010; 2:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Autos , The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler, Ford, GM, General Motors, Hyundai, Kia, Porsche, Subaru, Toyota, auto sales  
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Stocks rally at opening following good news; Dow pushes toward 11,000

Stocks are trading higher at opening following last week's drop in new jobless claims and encouraging manufacturing news. In the first 30 minutes of trading, the Dow is up nine-tenths of 1 percent and making a bid to crack 11,000...

By Frank Ahrens  |  April 1, 2010; 10:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Data  | Tags: Dow Jones, jobless claims, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Number of new jobless claims dips slightly

The number of new jobless claims filed last week dropped slightly compared with the week before, while the number of continuing claims inched upward. The government said moments ago that 439,000 new jobless claims were filed last week, a 6,000-person...

By Frank Ahrens  |  April 1, 2010; 8:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Data , The Ticker , Unemployment  | Tags: jobless claims, unemployment  
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Toyota's March sales rise 35%. Or perhaps 40%. Take your pick.

Earlier this week, Toyota North America's head of sales, Jim Lentz, said that Toyota's March sales were up 35 percent. Today, in an interview with the AP at the New York auto show, Toyota Group Vice President Bob Carter said...

By Frank Ahrens  |  March 31, 2010; 2:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Autos , Congress , The Ticker  | Tags: toyota, toyota congressional hearings, toyota problems, toyota sales  
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Video: Why are there conflicting consumer confidence numbers?

Last week's data from a Reuters/University of Michigan survey said consumer confidence was unchanged between February and March. Tuesday's Conference Board data said consumer confidence rebounded from February to March. What gives? Watch the video below to see how consumer...

By Frank Ahrens  |  March 31, 2010; 11:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Data , The Ticker  | Tags: Conference Board, Frank Ahrens, Frankonomics, Reuters, University of Michigan, consumer confidence  
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Stocks down at opening following jobs data

Stocks are down at opening this morning following disappointing employment news from the private sector. In the first 30 minutes of trading, the Dow is down four-tenths of 1 percent. The broader S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq are down...

By Frank Ahrens  |  March 31, 2010; 10:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Private sector unexpectedly loses 23,000 jobs in March

Private-sector employers unexpectedly shed 23,000 jobs in March, according to a measure of private-sector employment released this morning, reminding us of the very choppy nature of this recovery. Forecasters expected private-sector employers to actually add about 40,000 jobs, which makes...

By Frank Ahrens  |  March 31, 2010; 9:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Data , The Ticker  | Tags: ADP, census, unemployment  
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NHTSA hires underemployed NASA engineers to figure out Toyota problems

In the 1960s, the federal government summoned the best scientific minds of a generation and charged them with the heady goal of putting a man on the moon. Today, the federal government has summoned the best scientific minds of a...

By Frank Ahrens  |  March 30, 2010; 11:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Autos , Congress , Corporations , The Ticker  | Tags: Apollo, NASA, Runaway acceleration, Toyota, runaway prius, toyota problems  
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Consumer confidence rebounds in March, conflicts with last week's data

The March consumer confidence index came in at 52.5, up from 46.4 in February, slightly beating forecasts, the Conference Board said moments ago. This marks a rebound to January levels, which hit 56.5. The Conference Board index is one of...

By Frank Ahrens  |  March 30, 2010; 10:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: consumer confidence  
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Stocks up slightly at opening following home-price news

Stocks are up modestly at opening following some semi-encouraging news about home prices released this morning. In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is up one-tenth of 1 percent. The broader S&P 500 is up less than one-tenth...

By Frank Ahrens  |  March 30, 2010; 9:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Case-Shiller, Dow Jones, home prices, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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How much money will the Final Four bring to Indianapolis?

I love the inevitable stories that come out of the local media of any city that's about to host a major sporting event, touting how many millions of dollars the event will mean to the local economy. The figures are...

By Frank Ahrens  |  March 29, 2010; 4:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Corporations , The Ticker  | Tags: Butler Bulldogs, CNBC, Darren Rovell, Duke Blue Devils, Final Four, Michigan State Spartans, West Virginia Mountaineers  
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Tracking the true cost of the health-care legislation

This is a story I waded into last week and am going to continue to follow because it's really important: How much will the just-signed health-care legislation end up costing corporations? Which is another way of asking: How much is...

By Frank Ahrens  |  March 29, 2010; 11:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Congress , Corporations , Deficit/debt , The Ticker  | Tags: 3M, AT&T, Bart Stupak, David Walker, Henry Waxman, John Deere, Obama, Verizon, cost of healthcare reform, debt, deficit  
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Stocks up at opening following consumer spending news

Stocks are up following a government report this morning that consumer spending inched up in February. In the first 20 minutes of trading, the Dow is up half of 1 percent. The broader S&P 500 is a little more than...

By Frank Ahrens  |  March 29, 2010; 9:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Treasury  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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