Archive for stock market

Upbeat economic news round-up. Yes, upbeat. #BlameObama

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Moment of Happy, upbeat

Every morning I hold my Los Angeles Times newspaper (key word: paper) in my hands and read it cover to cover. By the time I'm done, I usually need a Valium, a six-pack of wine, and some Pepto Bismol. But today's Business section actually cheered me up! I only ended up requiring an IV of wine due to the horrific front page headlines about Israel and the Malaysia crash. It wasn't too hard to resist the Pepe Le Pew-like enticement of Le Valium, and I loaned the Pepto to the neighbor down the street with the very teenagey teen. Why? Because the economic news was actually upbeat.

You read that right.

upbeat

Don't believe me? I don't blame you. Usually economic news makes us want to haul out our old GW Bush dartboards and start throwing.

blame obama Bush's fault smaller

But here's proof:

  • Stocks buoyed by strong earnings (no link to that either, but that title with the accompanying article is in my paper, honest)

Yes, things could be better. But seeing all the positive headlines was encouraging.

Of course, this is clearly some commie fascist Marxist socialist plot by President Obama, who we all know controls every news organization except Fox, which doesn't report news at all. So you'll have to read the reports and draw your own conclusions. But IMHO, this can serve as today's Moment of Happy.

I retort, you deride.

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Climate change? Pfft! say deniers. But money talks, and right now it's screaming.

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climate change Jack and Jill

Climate change, schlimate change, what a bunch of hooey, because, brrr, it's cold! Clearly, that means there's no global warming, right? Wrong.

Psst! Weather is not the same as climate, denier geniuses:

weath·er
noun \ˈwe-thər\

: the state of the air and atmosphere at a particular time and place : the temperature and other outside conditions (such as rain, cloudiness, etc.) at a particular time and place

: bad or stormy weather

vs...

cli·mate
noun \ˈklī-mət\

:  a region of the earth having specified climatic conditions

a: the average course or condition of the weather at a place usually over a period of years as exhibited by temperature, wind velocity, and precipitation

Now that that's settled, let's take a little peek at how increasingly extreme weather conditions, likely caused by overall climate change, are affecting more than what we wear. As we speak, we are seeing an alarming economic impact. As I read my morning Los Angeles Times, several articles scattered throughout the Business section caught my eye, and not in a good way:

1. Stocks dive on fresh growth worries:

Stocks were pounded by discouraging data released Monday on manufacturing, auto sales and construction spending.

You're probably asking, "Yeah? So? What does that have to do with climate change?" Plenty:

2. GM, Ford, Toyota auto sales plunge with January's cold weather:

Arctic-like weather across much of the nation put a freeze on January auto sales. [...] General Motors said Monday that its U.S. sales fell 12% in January to 171,486 vehicles compared with the same month a year earlier. [...] The automaker said its sales were the worst in the South, Midwest and Northeast, all areas that suffered from the extreme cold. [...]

Ford Motor Co. said its January fell 7% to 154,644.

Given the difficult weather in our largest sales regions, we are fortunate to have held in at retail as well as we did,” said John Felice, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service. [...]

Toyota reported January sales results of 146,365 vehicles, a 7.2% decrease from what it sold in the U.S. in the same month a year earlier.

“January was off to a solid start, but the weather conditions slowed industry sales in key markets late in the month,” said Bill Fay, Toyota’s division group vice president and general manager.

but wait there's more smaller

3. Manufacturing activity slows in January; stocks slump:

"A number of comments from the panel cite adverse weather conditions as a factor negatively impacting their businesses in January," said Bradley Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management's Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

4. California citrus season shortened by December freeze:

Consumers will have less time to get their hands on California citrus this year because of a cold snap in early December that damaged $441-million worth of fruit in the San Joaquin Valley, an industry study released Monday said. [...]

An estimated 40% of the [mandarin orange] crop that remained on trees were lost. That amounts to 4.7-million 40-pound cartons and $150 million in lost revenue. [...]

About 30% of the navel crop was lost in the valley, the heart of the state’s agriculture industry. That amounted to 22 million 40-pound cartons or $260 million worth of navels.

Valley lemon producers lost 20% of their crop, equal to $24 million in lost revenue.

And finally...
tadaa35. 'Polar vortex' wallops fliers' wallets:

Flights canceled in January's "polar vortex" inflicted $2.5 billion in costs on stranded travelers, according to a new analysis. The $2.5-billion figure represents lost productivity, hotel expenses and meals, MasFlight reported. The airline industry lost $75 million to $150 million. [...]

To avoid the hefty fines, airlines are now more likely to cancel flights during bad weather. [...] [T]he weather woes could take a bite out of the bottom line for some of the nation's biggest airlines.

"They'll definitely take a financial hit," Counter said.

All of those stories appeared in just one day, in one section of my paper.

And while all this is taking a financial and emotional toll, we have the filthy, "game over," disaster-in-waiting Keystone XL tar sands pipeline looming.

Hope the weather's good wherever you are, because the overall climate-- whether economic, psychological, political, or meteorological-- is chilling.

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You're Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't

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the poor

What's pleasantly surprising is that despite Republican efforts to stall any safe jobs bill, the economy has picked up. Unemployment dropped in the latest report to 7%, the lowest number in five years.

That's forty-five straight months of improved job numbers. Now that's a great streak, but when you start in such a deep hole, it's more of a continued improvement, but not a clean bill of health.  A healthy overall unemployment number should be somewhere in the two or three percent range. Despite GOP obstruction, the President's plans, along with those of the Fed, are yielding small and steady results. And that could end up being bad news.

Job growth is bad news? Leave it to the GOP to turn improvements into detriments for hundreds of thousands. The Republicans are moving to punish those who weren't lucky enough to grab onto a job and make them suffer even more. The GOP doesn't want to renew the extended unemployment coverage for millions after their state support runs out. And of course, timing is everything. As much as it's a time of "cheer," it's also the time of great despair and the highest numbers of suicide. Being destitute, devoid of hope is a major cause. This is not the time to cut aid to the poor. Food stamps and unemployment need to be continued.

If the GOP really cares -- not that anyone believes that -- but if there's a chance there's a compassionate soul trapped in the body of a Republican, think about working on a reasonable jobs bill. Think about helping with passing a version of the Senate immigration bill. Stop your war on women and healthcare for the poor. And please don't penalize the unemployed who are just trying to find one of the few jobs out there that you haven't found ways to defund or restrict with blockage in the House and Senate.

Being a Scrooge is not only a stigma you'll be able to easily shun, but a compassionate one that you need to shed.

You can't have it both ways. You can't fight job creation on every level, then because the President's plans seem to be working, albeit slowly, slap down the job hunters who haven't been as fortunate.

Find a jobs bill and then, when enough people are working, you might consider cutting back jobless benefits. But now's not the time. Remove people from unemployment with jobs. That's the healthy way. Then the reason to trim extended funding will follow. We're not there yet.

Republicans, if you're not prepared to confess to the world that the President and his party has ushered through some steady economic growth, don't take it out on the less fortunate by further victimizing the jobless, the hungry and those in need. Increasing jobs, decreases unemployment. Don't cut essential programs. It's that simple.

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Elizabeth Warren -- If That Strikes You As Bizarre, Then You Are Not Alone

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Dine and Dash 2

I think Senator Warren's explanation is simple and quite eloquent. She doesn't mince words and at the same time, explains what the current financial crisis is really about and the imminent disaster approaching in days, not weeks or months.

What it boils down to in the street vernacular of my native Boston suburbs is this here is a wicked pissah of a crisis, the result of "dine and dash." (You may also know it as  "dine and ditch", "eat and run" or "beating the check") But it all means the same thing. And Congress is playing games with our government now matter which way you cut it.

HuffPo:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) issued a stern warning against allowing the U.S. government to default on its debt, and blamed Congress for the government's current fiscal impasse during a Wednesday speech on the Senate floor.

We’re in this position for one reason, and one reason only: Congress told the government to spend more money than we have. Congress told the Treasury to run up our debt to pay for it. But now Congress is threatening to run out on the bill,” Warren said. "If that strikes you as bizarre, then you are not alone."

The Massachusetts senator and consumer rights activist/protector spoke firmly, precisely and points fingers. If you want to enjoy seeing someone stand up for you and me, to nail the wrong-doers for their reckless and irresponsible behavior, here you go:

If you enjoyed this and the rest of the materials we here at The Political Carnival put out each day, please take a moment and make a greatly appreciated donation. We need to keep the lights on so we can continue to bring you all this fun stuff. Thanks.



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U.S. jobless claims fall to 346K; consumer income, spending up; pending home sales jump to highest since Dec. '06

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obama worst socialist ever

Fox Biz continues to send me email alerts that I feel compelled to share with you... because they prove that President Obama is the worst. Socialist. Ever:

U.S. weekly jobless claims fell to 346,000 from an upwardly revised 355,00 the week prior. Claims were expected to fall to 345,000 from an initially reported 354,000.

Consumer spending rose 0.3% in May from April, matching economists’ estimates. Personal income climbed 0.5%, more than the 0.2% Wall Street expected.

The National Association of Realtors reports signed contracts to buy previously owned homes jumped 6.7% in May, far higher than the 1% increase expected. The increase brought pending home sales to the highest since December of 2006. The gauge was up 12.1% from the same month in the year prior.

Traders are bidding equities sharply higher for the third day in a row as caution over the Federal Reserve’s exit from its bond-buying program ebbs. The Dow is up 100 points, or 0.67%, while the broader S&P 500 is up 0.61%.

#BlameObama

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Need a little good news? Consumer confidence jumps in June, new home sales at highest level since July ’08

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blame obama

Today's news cycle is driving me to drink. Well, more than usual, anyway. So it's time for a little upbeat news via, of all places, Fox Biz and a flurry of emails from them to my inbox:

The Conference Board reports consumer confidence rose to 81.4 in June from 74.3 in May – beating estimates of 75.4.

The Commerce Department reports sales of new, single-family homes rose 2.1% in May from April to an annual rate of 476,000 units. Wall Street expected sales to come in at an annual rate of 462,000 units. The reading was the highest since July 2008.

Home prices in 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas climbed 2.5% in April from March, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, topping expectations of a 1.1% gain. Prices were up 12.1% from the year prior, beating forecasts of a 10.6% jump.

The markets are jumping as traders cheer a round of strong U.S. economic data and commentary suggesting global central banks will continue easing for a long time to come. The Dow is up 107 points, or 0.73%, while the broader S&P 500 is up nearly 1%. Every major sector is in the green, led by cyclical stocks.

The Commerce Department reports orders for long-lasting goods jumped 3.6% in May from April, topping expectations of a 3% gain. Excluding the transportation segment, orders rose 0.7% compared to expectations it would hold steady.

blame obama Bush's fault

There. That should hold us for... about five minutes or until the next abysmal Supreme Court decision.

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PhotOH! Conservative group: Impeach Obama for "wrecking the stock market"? ...as Dow hits record high

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easy as pie

It's way too easy to show how disconnected from reality some conservatives are. Just read The Political Carnival every day and you'll see what I mean. But today... well, today it's so easy that it can be done with two images.

look how easy it is

I even did the addition for those at Capitol Hill Daily who are arithmetically challenged.

Think Progress has the story. Here's the minimalist/visual version:

obama wrecked stock market

"You see, Obama just allowed 13 new tax increases to further slow the economy, wreck the stock market and make it even harder on the 12 million Americans already looking for work.

The bigger question is this…

Is Obama’s Latest Tax Screw Up Grounds For Impeachment?"

dow record 15000

The Dow has gone up over 7,000 points since President Obama took office.

'Nuff said.

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