Thursday, May 20, 2010

Jobless claims spike

Jobless claims jumped by 25k last week to over 471k last week which was much worse than expectations of 442k.

"The number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week by the largest amount in three months. The big surge was a setback to hopes that layoffs were declining."

Hmm, can we blame snowstorms? A late Easter, again?

The stock market has broken through supports this morning. Things are starting to get interesting again...


Europe is a mess right now. I think we sometimes underestimate the longstanding cultural divides that exist in Europe. During the good times everyone gets along just fine, but at times of stress you can see things start to unravel fairly quickly. The Greeks are protesting in the streets again today and the Germans are trying to convince the rest of the EU to jump on the shorting ban bandwagon (because it's clearly working so well right now).

More headlines that we should be watching closely...

* Turns out N. Korea did sink that S. Korean ship. Maybe I'll cancel those plans to move to Korea.

* A professor of mechanical engineering testified yesterday that he believes up to 95,000 barrels of oil are leaking into the Gulf of Mexico every day or 4 million gallons. Basically, that would be an Exxon Valdez every 2 1/2 days and this thing has been going on for a month! I don't think there is any way to know what proportion of gas vs. oil is but I think it's safe to say that BP seems to be low balling the estimates on the leak.


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