Monday, April 05, 2010

Dow 11k on the horizon?

The rally continues unabated today as positive news from the ISM service report and Housing sales kept the computers happy enough to push up for another day.

* The ISM data was positive today and showed particular strength in new orders. I'd guess that the weak US dollar is having some impact here. Of note, the employment component contracted again in March.

* Shocker! People have figured out how to abuse the Massachusetts health care system. I'm sure we'll figure out a way to have the TSA and Border Patrol preventing abuse of the federal system.

"Thousands of consumers are gaming Massachusetts’ 2006 health insurance law by buying insurance when they need to cover pricey medical care, such as fertility treatments and knee surgery, and then swiftly dropping coverage, a practice that insurance executives say is driving up costs for other people and small businesses.

The typical monthly premium for these short-term members was $400, but their average claims exceeded $2,200 per month. The previous year, the company’s data show it had even more high-spending, short-term members. Over those two years, the figures suggest the price tag ran into the millions.

The problem is, it is less expensive for consumers — especially young and healthy people — to pay the monthly penalty of as much as $93 imposed under the state law for not having insurance, than to buy the coverage year-round. This is also the case under the federal health care overhaul legislation signed by the president, insurers say."

* Seattle's garbage men are feeling pretty confident. The contractor - Waste Management - has offered a 3.7% raise which has been rejected by the union.

"By the last year of the contract, the average driver's annual compensation will reach $109,553, Waste Management said, and the company will contribute more than $15,000 per year to each employee's pension fund."

A couple of observations: Is this really the cheapest option? Wouldn't it be cheaper for the city of Seattle to hire their own drivers? Waste Management has threatened to hire replacements and 1,600 applicants applied for fewer than 100 jobs.

Oh, and btw oil is making a push for $90. That's going to mean $3.15 or more at the pumps in the next couple of weeks locally, but driving is clearly overrated :)

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