1. New jobless claims filed last week fell to their lowest number since January in data released yesterday, though 512,000 individuals were newly out of work. Yet the number is down from the 700,000 and 800,000 weekly numbers during the depths of this recession. Of course, it is not irrelevant that the unemployment rate is topping 10%.
2. U.S. business productivity grew at its fastest clip in six years in the third quarter. The Labor Department said on Thursday that productivity surged at a 9.5 percent annual rate, the quickest pace since the third quarter of 2003.
3. The Dow increased 203.82 points, or 2.1 percent, to 10,005.96 at 4:01 p.m. in New York for the biggest advance since July 23. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose for a fourth day, adding 20.13 points, or 1.9 percent, to 1,066.63. And more than nine stocks gained for each that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.
4. Expansion and extension of the home buyers tax credit. (See previous post.)
5. Finally, envious though we may be, top producers on Wall Street are looking forward to blowout paydays once again, somewhat diminishing the prospect of a wan real estate market in Manhattan next year. Continue reading