Sunday, September 4, 2011

Corporations Hoard Cash, Await Signs of Stability

There was reported 1.9 trillion in corporate profits by the end of 2010, and hoarding of cash at record levels. This tells a story of corporate fear and uncertainly when you consider the back drop of a flat job creation report for the month of August, and a S&P downgrade of US debt. I strongly believe that the catalyst for the low hiring rate last month is the S&P downgrade. The S&P downgrade shifted the climate dramatically from hopeful to not sure. Employers seem to have been shaken by the uncertainty and elected to curb their enthusiasm about the Country’s economic future. This sentiment is echoed by Jeffrey Kleintop of LPL Financial, who was quotes in the Associated Press as saying the new job figures are likely skewed by the unusual events that may have made employers reluctant to add jobs in August.

Let’s clarify; there were definitely new jobs created in the month of August (I happen to know of two in particular), but unfortunately there were just as many jobs lost, yielding a net zero for the month. In about 4-6 weeks there will likely be an adjustment made on the August numbers for better or worse. Being of a a glass-half-full mindset myself, I believe the adjustment may prove to be slightly better than the net-zero reported on Friday before the Labor day weekend. Nevertheless, fear of the country dipping back into a recession is having a dramatic impact on the market.

Friday’s New jobs report was disappointing, leaving Investors and economists alike surprised. The expectation was that there would be approximately 93,000 new jobs added, but there was no indication that jobs growth would be completely and utterly flat.. The months of June and July were revised lower, so the overall jobs growth picture for the summer is looking more and more bleak as the U.S. economic drama unfolds.

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K Reilly
Cohn-Reilly Report

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