Thursday, December 22, 2011

Unemployment Claims Lower, Stocks Higher

Stocks advanced modestly today as news flow was about as light as the volume, which was back to mid-summer levels.

Seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims came in lower than last week's, at 364K, not much of a big deal, since the figures are heavily massaged and almost certain to be revised higher, though, even on their face, the 364,000 people filing for unemployment, while more than 15 million are already out of work, is a bit of a canard. Consider the fact that the way the Labor Department keeps track of these numbers is merely an estimate, then adjusted to match their perception of reality. What's never mentioned is the lower participation rate in the labor force and the idea that there simply aren't that many jobs remaining from which employees can be disposed.

While Wall Street gobbles up phony, manipulated data without blinking an eye - because it suits their 1% agenda - various parts of the country are still suffering from very high unemployment, stagnant local economies and the general malaise stemming from too few jobs for too many people.

With that in mind, it shouldn't surprise anybody that the third and final estimate of 3rd quarter GDP came in at 1.8%, down from the 2.0% in the previous estimate. The big fall-off was in personal consumption, which economists will glibly label "de-leveraging," when the people actually counting their nickels and dimes refer to it as "broke." And that's what the consumer is this Christmas, broke, busted, in debt, with poor outlooks for the future. Those of you with young children should take particular note that your kids cannot achieve your standard of living if current economic conditions remain the way they've been for the past three years. And your standard of living deteriorates daily, thanks to overspending governments at all levels, a tight credit market (despite record low interest rates) and general theft of wealth via taxation, free reign of private utilities, inflation and globalization, to say nothing of the indentured servitude your kids will enter into when they decide to take out a college loan.

As far as Wall Street and our socialized government apparatus is concerned, that's all well and good. To the rest of us, it certainly is beginning to feel a lot like the Dark Ages and the era of feudalism.

Carry on. Christmas is just a few days off. The economic monstrosity the elitists have built will eventually come tumbling down. Unfortunately, most of the carnage will affect ordinary people, not those at the top of the food chain.

Happy Holidays, in advance. See you tomorrow for the anti-climactic end to the penultimate week of the year.

Dow 12,170.64, +62.90 (0.52%)
NASDAQ 2,599.45, +21.48 (0.83%)
S&P 500 1,254.07, +10.35 (0.83%)
NYSE Composite 7,457.31, +68.79 (0.93%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,474,976,375
NYSE Volume 3,398,761,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4005-1623
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 234-63
WTI crude oil: 99.53, +0.86
Gold: 1,610.60, -3.00
Silver: 29.05, -0.20

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