05 September, 2008

Markets continue slide as Jobs data weighs

North American markets continued to sell off in the beginning of the end of a week that has seen Politics at the forefront of American minds and Employment at the forefront of Wall Street. Today's news, not surprising in the least, continued the slide. America's unemployment rate rose to 6.1% in August as payrolls were cut yet again by businesses.

That marks the 8th straight month of job losses and a 5 year high rate of unemployment in the United States. August's numbers, and those of the previous months paint a fading picture for American workers. Job losses in August are estimated at 84,000, compared to economist projections of 75,000. Adding fuel to the fire, estimates for June and July were revised up to 100,000 and 60,000 in losses.

While talk of a "deteriorating economy" is flying through economic and investing circles, the emphasis continues to be on the Federal Reserve to keep Interest Rates steady and low for longer than the organization would probably like.

Off, another 100 points before the lunch bell even sounds, the Dow has run up its losses in this shortened Labor Day weekend to about 700 points (about 6% in the red for the week). The other majors were hit even harder with the Nasdaq off almost 200 points (around 8%) and the S&P off 80 points (6%).

While the economy continues to fizzle into the holiday season, businesses will have to do more to lure customers, putting the squeeze on margins. So far the Bears have had their way, and with no clear signs of turnaround Bulls have to pick their spots carefully.

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