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  • mongosta mongosta Mar 12, 2001 12:47 PM Flag

    Market by NYP from Fox Market..pt1

    First, Wall Street was spooked when Intel lowered its sales forecast and said demand for personal computers is slowing.

    But as I said last week, the big worry should be over IBM. The computer giant has not issued any cautionary notes to Wall Street.

    IBM's stock was clipped for 7.18 points on Friday, closing at $99.29. And IBM is now 6 percent below where the stock rallied in the middle of last week.

    Any bad news from IBM will be devastating for the market, especially because the company hasn't seen fit to prepare the markets for any surprises.

    The market was also knocked lower on Friday because the government's report on job growth in February was stronger than the Wall Street experts had been expecting. Investors wanted these numbers to show a level of weakness that would force Greenspan to cut interest rates.

    But Wall Street should clue into this: Whether they are showing strength or weakness, the government's labor numbers are no good.

    On Friday, for instance, the Labor Dept. reported that 135,000 new jobs were created last month. And hourly wages rose 0.5 percent, nearly twice as fast as had been expected.

    Plus, despite all the corporate layoffs that have been announced, the unemployment rate unexplicably held at just 4.2 percent.

    The numbers don't pass the smell test. They don't even jibe with other statistics by Washington, namely a survey of households that shows the loss of 184,000 jobs in February.

    That number, which is used in calculating the unemployment rate, does pass the smell test.

    How'd the unemployment rate stay so low?

    Even though households reported that 184,000 jobs disappeared, the government also lopped some 200,000 people out of the work force. Statistics-wise, this was a wash. So the unemployment rate is still down at near-historic levels.


    Guess patience will be needed for all.>

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