What We’re Reading: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

by CC June 3, 2011 8:52 am • Commentary

Seeking Alpha

Today’s Markets

  • In Asia, Japan -0.7% to 9492. Hong Kong -1.3% to 22950. China +0.8% to 2728. India -0.6% to 18376.
  • In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris -0.1%. Frankfurt +0.1%.
  • Futures at 7:00: Dow -0.4%. S&P -0.3%. Nasdaq -0.4%. Crude -1.1% to $99.30. Gold -0.4% to $1526.30.

Friday’s Economic Calendar


Job growth decelerated sharply in May, the Labor Department said Friday. Total nonfarm payrolls increased by 54,000, much lower than the 125,000 gain expected by Wall Street economists. This is the smallest increase in nonfarm payroll since September. The unemployment rate ticked higher 9.1% in May from 9.0% in the previous month. Economists forecast the unemployment rate to fall to 8.9%. Average hourly earnings increased 6 cents, or 0.3% to $22.98. Economists had been expecting a 0.2% gain. Earnings are up a slim 1.8% in the past year. The average workweek was steady at 34.4 hours. The factory workweek rose 12 minutes to 40.6 hours while factory overtime was unchanged at 3.2 hours. Labor Department officials said they found no evidence that tornadoes or floods in the Midwest and South affected the data. There will be state and local estimates available later in June.


Nokia Oyj (NOK1V), the world’s largest mobile-phone maker, has destroyed so much shareholder value that it may be worth 52 percent more if sold and broken into pieces.

The Espoo, Finland-based company, once worth almost $300 billion, has seen its market value tumble 77 percent to $25.6 billion yesterday since Apple Inc. (AAPL) introduced the iPhone in June 2007. Including net cash, Nokia is cheaper than its 10 biggest rivals based on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

By separating its mobile phone, infrastructure equipment and mapping software businesses and accounting for its patents, Nokia could be worth $39 billion, based on the valuations of comparable companies, the data show. While Nokia cut its revenue forecast at its mobile-phone unit and may earn less this year than any time in almost two decades, sales of its assets could attract companies from Microsoft Corp. to Samsung Electronics Co. and HTC Corp. (2498), according to Jefferies Group Inc.


Don’t look now but the natural gas fund (UNG) is currently the farthest above its 50-day moving average out of more than 200 key ETFs (and ETNs, etc.) that we track daily in our ETF Trends report over at Bespoke Premium.  You know the financial markets are struggling when natural gas is the most overbought asset class, considering that the commodity has been a perpetual decliner for years now.

Bonus Lawn Ornament Confusion

Officers in Independence, a Kansas City suburb, responded to a call on a Saturday evening about a large alligator lurking on the embankment of a pond, police spokesman Tom Gentry said Thursday.

An officer called a state conservation agent, who advised him to shoot the alligator because there was little that conservation officials could do at that time, Gentry said.

As instructed an officer shot the alligator, not once but twice, but both times the bullets bounced off — because the alligator was made of cement.

The property owner told police later that he placed the ornamental gator by the pond to keep children away. But residents had little to fear.

“There are no alligators around here, we are too far north, it’s too cold,” said Bill Graham, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Conservation.