It's all about jobs. While I long for days past where opportunities in stocks, real estate and new business ventures flourished, sometimes you just have to face the facts. It's getting harder and harder to refer to recovery and jobs data in the same sentence.
Unemployment remains at 9.5% accounting for some 14.6 million workers. Not accounted for are 1.185 million discouraged workers (people who have given up looking for a job), other groups not officialy counted as unemployed and another 8.5 million workers forced into a part time schedule. But don't take my word for all this good news, there is an excellent report from the BLS that can give you more jobs data than you want to know.
The news struck the markets pretty hard this morning as investors, who have reacted positively to quarterly earnings data, are dealt a dose of reality. Ironic isn't it? Corporate America cut jobs to create profits but now seem reluctant to cut profits to create jobs. There's too much uncertainty over higher income taxes to come, the effect health care reform is going to have on bottom lines and potential increases to capital gains taxes.
At the same time investors edge out of stocks with some sliding into gold. Funny how gold drops below $1200 an ounce, after a sovereign-debt-crisis-inspired move to record highs, and reports are all about the end of the gold rush. Then, today, as a significant economic report comes out, that spurs gold demand and drives the gold price back above $1200 -- Nothing!
Instead we hear, we must be in a jobless recovery and, for seven months in a row we have created new jobs. Personally, I think investors are catching on. You can call it a jobless recovery if you want, but at some point, the data speaks for itself. Whatever way you slice it, most expect more stimulus, higher inflation, higher interest rates and higher taxes. All positive indicators for gold.
And don't for a minute think the debt threat has been quashed. At some point the Piper gets paid. Here's one more thought. If it is settled that capital gains taxes will rise in 2011, how many people do you think will hang on to stocks into the new year?
I suspect real fireworks are ahead in all markets. And as I said, I truly miss the days when when opportunities in stocks, real estate and new business opportunties seemed to surround us. Now, it's a good thing gold is there to preserve wealth, buying power and some dreams of one day receiving that gold watch.
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