08 September, 2009

As more go back to school, less are out of work

The Labour Day weekend in North America was met with a Friday stock rally based on encouraging employment figures that saw 216,000 jobs lost in the month of August. Although 216,000 is still a significant number out of work this trend of a decline in job slashing, a figure that was upwards of 700,000/month at the peak of the recession, led investors into confident buying to start the long weekend. Furthermore, Canada's job picture actually showed job growth in the tens of thousands signalling a shift out of the recession and leading the TSX Composite Index to new highs for the year.

Tuesday's morning action continued the trend, as market's saw green in the early going, this time fueled by commodities, especially gold, with prices around $1000/ounce. Major market benchmarks were all higher between .5 and 1% with the S&P leading the way.

America's battle for Health Care is taking a more dramatic turn this week as President Barack Obama issued a strong pro health care reform speech to the labor force and is set to speak again to Congress on Wednesday as the health debate enters its final stretches.

Kraft Foods (KFT) is taking a bit of a beating today as it issued, and was quickly rejected in a $16Billion bid for Cadbury (CBY). It's clear investors want more out of a takeover bid, with analysts already speculating the Chocolate maker could fetch near $21Billion if another suitor was found to compete. Shares of CBY are up nearly 40% giving a market cap well over $17Billion, so it seems traders are sharing the investor sentiment for now. Shares of Kraft slid 5% on the news.

Also on tap tomorrow is an annual iPod-related event from Apple (AAPL) as it brings the media over to showcase new iPods and possibly a new version of its iTunes software. Rumors have been rampant as usual for an Apple event, and although the fabled tablet computer is unlikely to appear, new iPod Touch and iPod Nanos are expected to the sporting cameras for easy on the go pictures and videos. Shares of Apple are up almost 1.5% today but are expected to fall following the event unless Apple can surprise with a new announcement of some kind.

Disclosure: Author owns AAPL

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