Monday, January 03, 2011

Well, at this rate the stock market should be up 260%+ by next year :)

Stocks shot up at the beginning of trading as new money went back to work (funds tend to slowly sell some stocks in December to rebalance their portfolios on 1/1/11). There was no real news around the world today so it was off to the races, but the markets did drift lower throughout the day.

Stat of the day: According to one market data source, the average stock in the US is now held for a whopping 22 seconds. The average currency position? 30 seconds. All perfectly sustainable :)

The Restaurant Performance index fell in November and signaled contraction in the Restaurant industry. This was the first decline in 3 months and it is worth watching. Did consumers shift discretionary dollars from Applebee's to Target to buy gifts for the kiddies? Something to keep on our radar.

I finally found the link to NY State's nonseasonally adjusted unemployment data for the past 20 years. Last month's unemployment rate in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties spiked pretty sharply and while we normally experience a winter spike in unemployment the November numbers seemed high to me when they first came out.

As a refresher:

Jefferson County: November Unemployment - 9.9%

Lewis County: November Unemployment - 9.2%

St. Lawrence County: Nov. Unemployment - 10.3%

After looking at the historical data back to 1990 we see that in Nov 2010:

Jefferson County had the highest November unemployment since 1994.

Lewis County had the highest November unemployment since 1992.

St. Lawrence County had the highest November unemployment in 20 years.

Now consider what new budget cutting moves might mean for government employees in prisons, the postal service, school districts, Ft. Drum, etc., and you get a potentially scary employment picture for NNY in the coming two years.

I only made through about half of my "Ten people that most helped me in my life" list last night. Hopefully, you were more efficient than I was. If so, here's your next task -"The Ten Most Memorable places I've visited".

Think outside the box and remember that special sunrise or something that others might sleep through. Walking through Wall St. at 5am on a Sunday is an amazing experience and that might make my list.

Hopefully, if you share these experiences with your kids they might gain a renewed sense of adventure.



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