Four Friday pet peeves …
People that don’t give “the hand” when you let them pull out of a parking lot in front of you – This drives me insane. If I’m nice enough to hold up traffic behind me to let you out, give “the hand”. It’s not hard.
Bathroom paper towel dispensers that let out three inches of towel at a time – Really? If expenses are that tight where you have to set these things to emit a strip of paper towel the size of a bookmark, it may be time to tweak other aspects of your business model. I’m also not a big fan of the ones that make you pull the towel downward with both of your dripping wet hands. Don’t make it so hard for me to dry my hands. Please.
People that blame the President for their economic woes – I have a buddy that is STILL blaming George Bush for his economic problems. And another claiming Obama is keeping him down. I’ll also add in here the people that claim they will move to Canada if ______ wins the next election. I don’t care if Charlie Sheen is elected President with Delonte West as his running mate. I’m not going anywhere. Ever.
People that talk in public places on their Bluetooths – These people should immediately be incarcerated and be forced to watch Joe Bauserman highlight reels until they are rehabilitated. The people that do it in the men’s room should immediately be deported out of America and have their citizenship revoked.
How good have Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez been? Pestano leads all of baseball in “holds” with 21. He is 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA. In 34 innings pitched, he has allowed just 21 hits and has struck out 39 batters. Perez is 2nd in all of baseball with 24 saves and has not blown a save since opening day. In 31 innings pitched, he has walked just 7 batters, and has 32 punch-outs. Hands down, this has been the top 1-2 back-of-the-bullpen duo in the entire league this season.
It is a HUGE advantage knowing that you only need your starting pitchers and middle relief guys to get you through six or seven innings. The Indians record when leading after six innings is an astonishing 35-2 this season.
Be afraid sports fans. Next week is “the week”. The only two days of the year without any professional sporting events. The day before and after the MLB All-Star Game.
Monday we at least have the home run derby to get us through. It’s Wednesday I’m dreading. Not one sporting event. Maybe I can use that night to plant grass seed in all the burned black patches in my backyard.
Quote of the Day …
“Opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor.” ~ Jackson Brown
Insane Fact of the Day …
No president of the U.S. has been an only child.
Another disappointing jobs report.
The US added just 80,000 jobs in June, per a report from the Labor Dept this morning. The national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.2%. Expectations were for 100-110k new jobs, and no change to the unemployment rate. May’s jobs total was revised up from 69k to 77k. April’s was revised down from 77k to 68k. The biggest gains in June occurred in the fields of professional services (47,000), health care (13,000) and manufacturing (11,000). Yet the private sector only added 84,000 jobs in total. The average workweek last month rose 0.1 hour to 34.5, while average hourly earnings climbed 6 cents to $23.50.
Even more importantly, the less publicized but more accurate “U6” employment rate edged up from 14.8% to 14.9%. This total includes discouraged job-seekers that have stopped looking, and also people that want to be working full-time that are only working part-time.
This morning’s # puts a capper on a real stinker of a second quarter for the US economy. After encouraging growth in the first quarter, and average monthly job adds of 226,000 … the economy averaged just 75,000 in job additions here in quarter two. The US labor force naturally grows by roughly 110,000-120,000 people each month, so additions less than that equate to a net negative.
And somewhere … Mitt Romney is pretending like he’s disappointed while being secretly elated. With the Presidential election now just four months away, the employment picture here in America will have a huge impact on who the next leader of the free world is. Romney is a flawed candidate with a long history of losing elections. Obama is a very likable, personable candidate that inherited a mess and has the history of only two sitting Presidents (Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush) in the last eighty years losing re-election bids. Only way Romney had a chance is if what is happening now happened. In Vegas, Romney was a HUGE underdog to win six months ago. Now he is close to even money.
Stock futures are down. Treasury prices are up, with yields falling. The closely watched 10-year Treasury bond is now yielding an unthinkable 1.56%. Investors are gobbling up mortgage bonds filled with loans with rates in the mid 3’s like they’re going out of style. Even though I totally predicted this, it’s still almost impossible to conceive that people are paying premiums for 10 year bonds yielding 1.50% and bonds backed by mortgage loans with delinquency risk at 3.00% handles.
Everyone will be buzzing and talking about the Fed now. If they will act. If there will be a QE3. I don’t think we’ll see any immediate reaction from them, but the behind the scenes scheming will start. And then if we don’t see any improvement in July (which we may based on the leading jobs #’s from yesterday) … I think you will see action a month from now. I think you’ll see some form of QE3. I think you’ll see HARP 3.0. I think you’ll see more bond buying. It’s conceivable that you could see 30 year fixed rates in the low 3’s.
I also think all of this, while worth doing, won’t have huge impact. It will have some. If you look at all the positive signs we’re seeing in the housing market, a lot of that has to do with Fed actions. But this is a big boat to turn around.
It all starts with housing though. I think the Fed knows that.
Your move Big Ben.
~ Another Disappointing Jobs Number: US Economy Adds Just 80,000 Jobs in June
~ As US Economy Steadies, Bank Closings Become Rarer
~ Finance Chiefs Confront Europe’s Unfinished Business
~ Why Central Banks Will Struggle to Halt Slowdown
~ China’s Surprise Rate Cut Signals More Trouble Ahead
~ Spain Re-Enters Danger Zone; Germany Borrows for Free
~ Top Analyst Thinks Apple Stock Could Hit $1000