Tuesday, September 2, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Jobs reports prompts swift market response

stevenson column sig

By
From page B7 | April 07, 2013 |

The jobs report for March came out, as usual, on the first Friday of the next month. It showed that 88,000 jobs were created in March, which might sound OK at first. But there’s a big problem with that figure. The economy needs at least 100,000 jobs to keep the economy on an even keel. Which means that, although we had an increase, it was not enough to support the notion that there is any underlying growth.

Actually, the front page article (April 5, “Large crowd attends job event in Fairfield”) about the job fair right here in town spoke volumes about the state of the economy. In a strong economy, naturally, there might be more openings than there are applicants. But when many more people show up for the limited number of jobs, it’s a sign that there’s little or no underlying growth.

On the other hand, unemployment did drop below 10 percent, but that might be attributed to fewer people looking for jobs. Of course, usually the unemployment report becomes a political football, with the party in power saying the figure is a sign of a recovery, while the opposition says it’s a sign of weakness.

It’s more common than not for political commentary to depend on which party you represent. I hope it’s not a sign of bias, but I think the market reaction is more important than any opinion from the talking heads on either side of the divide. of course, the eternal question is whether or not “the tape tells the tale.”

That’s a reference to the ticker tape to be found in many brokerage offices in years past. If the reaction to a statistic or an event was largely negative, the tape would show declining prices. The opposite was true, naturally, if traders and investors liked what they heard. Forgive me if I’ve mentioned this before, but more than 50 years ago I had a summer job as a quote clerk. This was in the days before terminals and computers made current stock prices readily available.

It’s hard to believe, but back then, the entire daily volume on the New York Stock Exchange, at least in the summer, was less than we see traded in 20 or 30 minutes in today’s markets. If I remember correctly, there was less of a reaction to economic statistics than we witness today. It might take hours, or even days, for the market to react to weekly or monthly figures.

I had the job, when I was as young as 8, to call on my parents’ behalf, a local brokerage firm and ask, “What’s the trend of the market?” Yuck. I didn’t even know what the question meant, and, at that age, I hated calling strangers for any reason.

Some days, I was obliged to make that phone call a second, or even a third time. Ah, the torture that parents can put children through. I bet the quote terminals were designed by someone who had gone through the same ordeal as a child.

In addition, the statistics that move markets these days were not even in existence back in the 1950s or early 60s. So, what accounts for the fact that, as our population has tripled, the volume on the New York Stock Exchange has gone up a hundredfold or more? The real question is whether, with all the instantaneous information we have, do investors make out better than they did 50 years ago?

Bud Stevenson, a stockbroker, lives in Fairfield. Reach him at Bsteven254@aol.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Labor Day not a holiday for everyone

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
Labor Day breakfast introduces union-backed candidates

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

Pool provides last dose of summer fun in the sun

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
SafeQuest schedules peer counseling training course

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

VP Biden says workers deserve ‘fair share’

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Obama: ‘Revving’ economy calls for higher wages

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 4 Comments | Gallery

Senegal monitors contacts of 1st Ebola patient

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
San Francisco to be 1st to test urban farming law

By The Associated Press | From Page:

GOP challenger tries novel tactics against Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
US eating habits improve a bit – except among poor

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 3 Comments | Gallery

 
No gray area: Beliefs shape views of Brown killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Iraqi prime minister pledges to root out militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Poland’s PM: Ukraine’s war must be stopped now

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Pro-Russian rebels lower demands in peace talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments | Gallery

US helicopter crashes in Gulf of Aden; all rescued

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Sept. 2, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
.

Entertainment

Inquiries begin into nude celebrity photo leaks

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

 
‘Guardians’ tops Labor Day, summer box office

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
.

Sports

Kirk rallies to win the Deutsche Bank

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Rockies top Giants after losing end of suspended game

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Dunn homers in 1st at-bat as A’s top Mariners

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Right guard Boone passes physical, rejoins 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders name rookie Derek Carr as starting QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Armijo beats Vanden 2-0 to claim All-City boys soccer title

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Armed with new deal, Chiefs’ Smith looks forward

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Column: Stewart’s Chase status doesn’t matter

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Raiders ink CB Dowling, 9 others to practice squad

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Serena Williams, Djokovic roll to US Open quarters

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Houston Astros fire manager Bo Porter

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Hamels, 3 Phillies relievers no-hit Braves

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Markets drift as Wall Street has day off

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Austerity debate flares as Europe recovery fades

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Civil disobedience expected in fast-food pay fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 8 Comments | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Beetle Bailey Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Blondie Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
B.C. Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Crossword Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Dilbert Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Garfield Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7