Jobs week in America continued with layoffs and unemployment claims readings. But the granddaddy of all monthly jobs reports comes out tomorrow morning.
First, the scoreboard:
Dow: 12,705.4, -11.1, -0.1%
S&P 500: 1,325.5, +1.5, +0.1%
NASDAQ: 2,859.7, +11.4, +0.4%
And now, the top stories:
- According to Challenger grey and Christmas, U.S. employers announced plans to slash 53.5k jobs from payrolls in January. The number was the highest since last September. However, there is some seasonality to layoffs. Historically, January is the busiest month for layoffs. Since 1993, the average number of layoffs in January is 101k.
- Weekly initial jobless claims fell to 367k, down from last week’s 379k reading. This was also notably better than economists’ expectation for 371k. Now we just have to wait for tomorrow’s January BLS nonfarm payroll and unemployment rate figures. Here Are The Best And Worst Economists Of 2011 >
- Investors are still processing Facebook’s long-anticipated S-1 filing for a $5 billion IPO. Enthusiasm toward the sector sent shares of Groupon, LinkedIn, and Pandora Media soaring. The biggest winner was Zynga. According to the S-1, Zynga accounted for 12 per cent of Facebook’s 2011 revenue.
- Retailers announced their January same-store sales, and the results were mixed. It’s worth noting that January tends to be one of the slower months of the year for retailers. Limited Brands, the parent of Victoria’s Secret, said same-store sales jumped 9 per cent, beating the 2.7 per cent estimate. Costco and Target also posted better-than-expected results.
- Abercrombie & Fitch was a big loser today after preannouncing Q4 financial results that were much worse than analysts expected. The teen retailer expects to report EPS of $1.10 to $1.15, versus the consensus estimate of $1.58.
- Shares of Green Mountain Coffee surged after it reported quarterly EPS of $0.60, well ahead of the $0.36 expected by analysts. The maker of K-Cups saw net sales jump 102 per cent to $1.158 billion.
- Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke testified to the House Budget Committee this morning. There wasn’t much news. According to Bernanke, the recovery remains “frustratingly slow,” households continue to face “significant headwinds,” and business investment remains slow because of uncertainty in the U.S. and Europe.
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