Thursday, July 1, 2010

Washington New: Monster’s job availability index jumps sharply; Unemployment benefit extension failed again

The White House (Washington DC)



· Hurricane Alex weakened to a Category 1 storm as it moved inland over northeastern Mexico and could be further downgraded to a tropical storm by tomorrow (Bloomberg) 

· “Dark omen threatens stock-market bulls” – WSJ headline – the 50day MA is about to cross under the 200day MA, a neg. development for the market – WSJ  

· Jim Rogers tells CNBC there is a bond market bubble developing - "I'm watching the bond market, I have no longs and no shorts," Rogers said. "It is a bubble which is developing; it's one of the few bubbles in the world which is developing."  "I think it's going to be a disaster and I plan to be selling them short sometime in the foreseeable future,"   CNBC

· Small business borrowing levels falls to lowest amount in 7 months during May – data released by PayNet revealed the decline on Thurs.  William Phelan, PayNet's president and founder, said the numbers suggest the economic recovery has stalled.  Reuters 

· Monster’s job availability index jumps sharply - said its employment index rose to 141 points in June from 134 in May.  The current month's reading is 20.5 percent above the 117 mark a year ago, the highest year-on-year growth reading since September 2006.  CNBC

· Fin reg reform passes the House Wed night as was widely expected (the final tally was 237-192; 19 Dems voted against while 3 Republicans voted for); the matter will be taken up by the Senate when Congress returns the week of Jul 12; while some votes may be up in the air (like Sen Brown, who said he would review the matter over the Jul 4 break), it still seems like 60+ will be achievable and that the measure will pass into law. 

· Fin reg reform – lobbying will continue over Jul 4 break in effort to persuade Senate to reject the Dodd/Frank bill; Ed Yingling, chief executive of the American Bankers Association trade group, said bankers would use the weeklong recess to urge senators to oppose the bill, with a special emphasis on Republicans whose votes are thought to be still up for grabs.  WSJ 

· Fin reg reform – J Taylor oped in WSJ – “The bill all but guarantees bailouts as far as the eye can see, while failing to address real problems like Fan and Fred and our outdated bankruptcy code” (WSJ) 

· Bank/HF tax – Rep Frank said on Wednesday that he would revive a proposal to tax banks and other large financial firms that had been stripped from a landmark overhaul of financial regulations.  Reuters 

· Sen Byrd’s funeral will be held on Fri; Obama will attend; WV’s governor has said he won’t appoint a successor until after the funeral (DJ)

· Fed comments (these were out during trading on Wed) – Lockhart said that current conditions don’t warrant rate increases and that deflationary scenarios would have to be considered; Lockhart added that he doesn’t see the need to resume asset purchases.  Fed’s Duke says it will likely be several years before credit is fully restored again.  WSJ

· Fed nominees (Yellen, Diamond, Raskin) – the Senate will hold hearings to vet Obama’s Fed nominees on Jul 15 (DJ) 

· Deficit panel says spending reductions would have to outweigh tax increases – WSJ 

· Health Care – WLP scales back rate plans in California – the company told the California Insurance Department that it wants to increase prices for individual policyholders by an average of 14%, down from the 25% average it had previously sought; WLP says the new rates would result in it posting a $100MM loss in California for the year – DJ

· Immigration – Obama to make what is being billed as a major address outlining a comprehensive immigration strategy on Thurs (DJ)

· Iran – Obama on Thurs will sign into law a sweeping package of sanctions on Iran over that country’s nuclear program (DJ) 

· Unemployment benefit extension – the Senate held a cloture vote Wed night although they failed again; however, two Republicans voted for the extension on Wed, meaning passage seems assured when Congress returns the week of Jul 12 and Byrd’s replacement is named.  AP

· Homebuyers tax credit – Senate on Wed passes extension of homebuyers tax credit closure deadline - Homebuyers with contracts signed by April 30 who failed to go to closing by the June 30 deadline will now have until September 30 to complete their purchases – Reuters

· Manhattan housing market on the rebound - Manhattan home prices held steady during the second quarter of 2010 but transactions were 81% higher than this time last year (Fortune) 

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