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The average shopper spent $423.55 on Black Friday. That’s a lot of money!
And today online retailers are expected to haul in $1.5 billion.
Despite Hurricane Sandy’s $10-$20 billion price tag, it will likely be a wash for the economy at large.
The massive storm broadsided an area responsible for $10 billion in daily economic output, according to Moody’s Analytics. But it also unleashed a flood of recovery dollars from insurance companies, government aid agencies and legions of storm-battered citizens stocking up on supplies like generators, chainsaws and lumber.
“We expect any lost output this week from Hurricane Sandy will be made up in subsequent weeks, minimizing the effect on fourth-quarter GDP,” said Moody’s economist Ryan Sweet.
No matter who wins, the upcoming election could spook the bull market. Luckily, there are a few things investors can do to prepare.
“We think it’s much more important for investors today to be positioning for volatility,” said Kate Warne, principal of research at Edward Jones, a retail brokerage. “People who had their portfolios appropriately weighted six months ago, may have too much in equity.”
Stack Financial Management, which manages about $700 million from its Whitefish, Mont., headquarters, is already backing away from stocks. “We’re nowhere near full bear-market defensive mode, but at the same time, we want to hedge our bets a little and take some money off the table,” said Senior Portfolio Manager Eric Vermulm.
The rich got richer and the poor got poorer in 20 states last year.
The median income last year came in at $50,502, down from $51,144 for 2010; income inequality, using a measure called the Gini coefficient, jumped a statistically significant 1.3 percent in the same 12 months, new census statistics show.
Today, the 400 richest Americans have more money than the 150 million on the bottom of the pay ladder, economist Robert Reich pointed out on moveon.org.
Yesterday’s dismal jobs report showed the lowest labor participation rate in 31 years.
Employers added only 96,000 workers in August, down sharply from the 141,000 in July and well below the 100,000 to 150,000 jobs needed just to keep pace with growth in the labor market.
The weak report aside, the unemployment rate still dropped — from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent — because many of the out-of-work simply gave up. And only two out of three working-age Americans either had a job or were looking for one last month, the lowest level since Ronald Reagan took office.
“The economy is crawling up the down escalator,” said Patrick O’Keefe, head of economic research at financial consulting firm J.H. Cohn in Roseland, N.J.
The U.S. was taken down a notch by the Global Competitiveness Report, dropping from fifth to seventh most competitive economy on the list, due to an “inefficient government bureaucracy,” and a growing budget deficit.
The report, compiled by the World Economic Forum, ranks and details 144 economies using an array of data sets to determine overall competitiveness, including the strength of a nation’s public and private institutions, the state of its infrastructure, the quality of its education and its ability to foster innovation…
The report said the biggest weakness was the U.S. macroeconomic environment — a combination of the nation’s budget deficit, savings rate, inflation, government debt and credit rating. The U.S. ranked 111th in the category.
New numbers show that U.S. household debt is down $53 billion since the first quarter — a sign that struggling Americans are getting their financial obligations under control.
Believe it or not, there are still some sweet spots left in the American job market. Places where a savvy worker with some willpower can pocket a healthy paycheck without racking up six figures of student loans.
The Daily crunched reams of job forecast data to come up with these 10 great gigs. Our criteria was fairly simple: The occupations had to pay an above average wage, offer double-digit percent growth prospects in the decade ending 2020 and require no more than a master’s degree. We also nixed anything that would require a move to a specific spot, such as the gas fields of North Dakota.
So forget what politicians spout off about job creation in coming weeks. Need to improve your lot in life? Consider one of these gigs.