The following news was released prior to the opening bell of the stock market today. Although any one of these should reports have sent the stock market spiralling down, the market had another rally and closed up for the fourth consecutive day of trading. The previous “rallies” were due to the rumors of a Chinese bailout of the European Union. Even though these rumours proved to be false, the latest redistribution of the producers in America to Europe resulted in a rise of 186 points on the NYSE. At least the redistribution of our wealth has gone global. Happy days are here again.
Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week to the highest level since the end of June, underscoring the risk of further weakness in the labor market.
Jobless claims climbed by 11,000 to 428,000 in the week ended Sept. 10 that included the Labor Day holiday, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a drop in claims to 411,000, according to the median forecast.
The highest inflation rate in three years put a squeeze on consumers’ wallets in August, according to the government’s key price measure.
The Consumer Price Index rose 3.8% in the month compared to a year earlier. That’s up from 3.6% in July and is the highest reading since September 2008.
On a month-to-month basis, prices rose 0.4% in August, twice the rate of increase forecast by economists surveyed by Briefing.com.
Consumers have been paying more for a lot of key goods and services. Clothing prices in August were up 4.2% over the year, while new car prices rose 3.8%. Used car prices were up even more, rising 5.4%. And medical care was 3.2% more expensive than a year ago.
New York manufacturing activity in September contracted for the fourth consecutive month as shipments cratered this month, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey released Thursday.
The Empire State’s business conditions index dropped to -8.82 this month from -7.72 in August.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected the index to improve to -4.0.
The further decline in the Empire State number will heighten worries about the factory sector at the end of the third quarter. August data was extremely weak, but economists attributed the poor showing to special factors, like uncertainty on fiscal policy and stock market volatility.
The Empire State survey suggests the sluggishness continues into this month. The report said, “19% of respondents said that conditions had improved in September, while 28% said that conditions had deteriorated.”
While Mr. Geithner adds the finishes touches to Mr. Bernanke’s final triumph, the European Union will sleep better tonight knowing that the full faith and credit of the United States has saved them from Socialism. The question we will soon be asking is who will save the United States?