Friday, September 21, 2012

More People Finding Food Stamps Than Jobs

An alarming data point from the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee: More Americans are being added to food stamps than are finding jobs. The data is detailed in this chart, provided by the committee:

As the chart shows, between April-June 2012 (the most recent three month block for which government data is available), only 200,000 jobs have been created while 265,000 individuals have been added to the food stamp rolls. Additionally, in that time period, 246,000 workers were awarded disability.
Another chart shows that the last three month block is part of a larger trend. The chart, also from the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee, shows that "Workforce Shrinks Since January 2009 While Millions Sign Up For Disability And Food Stamps."

As the chart shows, since January 2009, when President Barack Obama took office, the net change jobs has been negative (-1.3 million), while 5.7 million workers and dependents have been awarded disability and a whopping 15.1 million have been added to the food stamp rolls.
"A total of 46,670,373 Americans are now on food stamps," according to the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee. "The food stamp program has doubled in size since 2008 and quadrupled since 2001."
And the government program isn't cheap: "Spending on food stamps alone is projected to reach $770 billion over the next decade."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Stocks Modestly Lower on Weak Economic Data

from WSJ:

NEW YORK—Stocks opened lower on signs of global economic weakening, as the U.S. posted worse than expected labor-market data...

Initial claims for jobless benefits in the latest week declined slightly from the previous week, to 382,000. That was a smaller drop than expected by economists, who expected a decline to 373,000.
"The data points to the fact that we're in a below-average, painfully sluggish economy," said Hank Smith, chief investment officer of Haverford Trust, a Radnor, Pa.-based firm with $6.5 billion under management. "The market has come a long way recently, so it wouldn't be surprising for it to take a pause here."

PMI data for China and Europe showed contraction also. However,  the Dow is down only about 20 points. Wall St is pricing stocks for a miracle in Q3 and Q4.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Stocks Barely Blink As Empire Manufacturing Plunges

from Zero Hedge:

Today's horrible piece of news, which at least on the surface was supposed to send the market soaring, comes courtesy of the Empire Fed Manufacturing Index, which printed at -10.41, the lowest print since April 2009, down from -5.85, and well below expectations of -2.0. The Index print confirmed the biggest 6 month drop since records began. The components painted a dire picture for jobs, with the employment index sliding from 16.47 to 4.26, New Orders tumbling from -5.50 to -14.03, while, wait for it, prices rose, from 16.47 to 19.15. Re-stagflation here we come. Market for now seems confused - since QE is priced into infinity, it is unclear if this latest datapoint confirming a recessionary economy, QE can't be more-er infiniter. Best to not respond to this, or any other macro news at all, which is precisely what the market has done. For those who missed it, not only has Bernanke doomed the global economy to stagflation and imminent food riots, while making the richest 0.001% richer than ever, he has completely broken any linkage between the economy and the market.