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It's Only Money

By Maxine Shapiro, KERA 90.1 business commentator

Dallas, TX – It's Friday so "It's Only Money," a review of the big and not-so-big stories of the week. I'm Maxine Shapiro with KERA Marketplace Midday.

It's been all about earnings and forecasting and expectations, and the ups and downs in the market that goes with it. By the end of this week, about 150 stocks listed on the S&P 500 will have reported earnings. Most encouraging, 66% have beaten expectations and only 6% missed 'em. By the end of next, week two-thirds of the S&P will have announced earnings as well as their guidances for the third quarter, giving everyone a clearer economic picture of the next four months. Wireless phone maker Nokia, whose earnings were down and whose forecast was bleak, caused the NASDAQ to have its worst day in 4 months. But today, Microsoft is perking up the market with a positive forecast for the future. Down then up, up then down - that's earning season for ya.

Well, looky here - Texas' seasonal unemployment figure dropped four tenths of a percent to 6.4%. Now we're actually in line with the historically high national number. Whereas Education and Health Services posted the largest employment gains, Manufacturing can't get a break. 6-thousand more jobs were lost in June alone. And while the rest of the state might be back at work, the North Texas unemployed are growing in numbers. Both the Dallas and Fort Worth/Arlington Metropolitan Areas experienced an eight-tenths percent increase in unemployment making us heads and shoulders over the national and state average. That stinks.

In the "you-must-be-kidding category," the National Bureau of Economic Research, which consists of a panel of economists who have obviously been living in the Land of Oz the past year and a half, officially announced the recession was over November 2001. This is the recession that started in March of 2001 - which wasn't really identified until November of 2001 - and unbeknownst to us and them, it was already over by the time they announced it ever began. I'm speechless. For KERA Marketplace Midday, I'm Maxine Shapiro.


Marketplace Midday Reports air on KERA 90.1 Monday - Friday at 1:04 p.m.

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