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Mark's Market Blog

12-5-09: Jobs!!!!

By Mark Lawrence

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The market is stalled, trying to break through a glass ceiling. Three weeks ago on Nov. 14, I noted that the market might bounce off this level a few times before we punch through. Right at this instant it's looking like we have a couple more weeks of bounces left in us before we resume our free-money-induced climb. We're bouncing off a voodoo doll called the "50% Fibonacci Retracement." It's not important what that is, it's enough that a lot of people think it may be important.


S&P 500 September 4 2009 to December 4 2009

Six more banks failed this week, bringing the total for 2009 to 130. The FDIC announced that they expected the price for all bank failures to reach $100B in the next couple of years. Moody's Investors Service said Wednesday that U.S. banks will likely lose money in 2010. U.S. banks have so far only recognized 40 percent of the loan losses they will take between 2008 and 2010. Moody's estimates that total loan losses will reach $536 billion for the three-year period ending in 2010. Banks wrote off $88 billion of loans as not being repaid in 2008. Another $112 billion has been written off so far through the first nine months of 2009.

Jobs!!!! According to the government, job losses were 11,000 in November. But how did this break down?

Natural Resources & Mining-1,000
Construction-27,000
Manufacturing-41,000
Wholesale Trade-11,700
Retail Trade-14,500
Transportation & Warehousing-5,300
Utilities-2,400
Information & Media-17,000
Financial Svcs & Real Estate-10,000
Leisure-11,000


Professional & Business Svcs+86,000
Education+11,100
Health Svcs+28,100
Government+7,000

So, what exactly is "Professional and Business Services?" It's workers hired by temp agencies. What we're seeing here is a lot of businesses cut to and perhaps into the bone, now hiring some temps to get them through the holidays.

Just as the health care debate begines in earnest, Obama's popularity has fallen below 50% for the first time. This happened just before Thanksgiving, so seems unrelated to Afganistan. A closer look at the data seems to indicate this too is all about jobs.

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