Wall Street has "ho-hum" reaction to government shutdown. Health insurance markets have technology glitch and jellyfish shutdown nuclear reactor in Sweden.
Wall Street reacts calmly to government shutdown
Wall Street investors are reacting calmly to the partial shutdown of the US government. USA Today indicates that stocks are mostly higher in early trading and the Dow rose about 20 points at opening. Wall Street is betting that the shutdown will be short-lived and the impact on the economy and the market will be minimal. Experts indicate that prior shutdowns did not produce chaos in the markets and that the market has become more rational in the past 24 months.
Amazon to hire 70,000 seasonal workers
Amazon plans to hire 70,000 seasonal workers for its US warehouse network this year, according to the Wall Street Journal. This is a 40 percent increase from a year ago and indicates an upbeat expectation regarding the holiday selling season. At the end of last year, Amazon had 89 warehouses. Most if its warehouses are close to urban centers such as San Francisco and San Antonio. Fourth quarter sales represent about 35 percent of Amazon’s annual revenue. Amazon’s plans top the number of workers to be hired compared to other companies.
Government furloughs 800,000 workers due to shut down
Failure of Congress and President Obama to agree on a temporary funding bill has caused a government shut-down, putting 800,000 workers on furlough and closing non-essential government programs. National parks, museums, and agencies like NASA and the EPA will be closed. CNBC reports that air traffic controllers, border patrol agents and food inspectors will continue to work. The Post Office will be open and Social Security benefits and Medicare and Medicaid fees to doctors will be paid on time.
Eurozone unemployment remains high
Unemployment in the eurozone remained high in August, highlighting the fragile nature of any recovery. According to the Financial Times, joblessness stayed at 12 percent, above the 11.5 percent report in August of 2012. Although manufacturing activity improved in recent months, the number of people out of work has remained unchanged in July and August and 822,000 more people are unemployed this year when compared to last. The Markit purchasing manager’s index fell to 51.1, down from 51.4 last month. The index, however, remains above the critical 50 mark which indicates the economy is growing.
Health Insurance markets open to website glitches
The online insurance marketplaces that opened today are showing signs of being overwhelmed by the volume of consumers. This is the first day of the six-month open enrollment period and the Associated Press reports that officials are aware of the website problems and are working to address them as quickly as possible. Callers to the federal call center indicate they have waited in long lines.
Bond funds brace for default of Brazilian empire
A group of six investment firms, including BlackRock and Allianz SE’s Pimco, hold roughly half of the $3.6 billion in dollar denominated debt issued by OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA, a Brazilian company owned by Eike Batista. The Wall Street Journal indicates that OGX is expected to miss an interest payment on Tuesday in the amount of $44.5 billion. OGX was one of the Brazilian companies that was benefitting from rapid middle class growth in Brazil. But operational missteps have put the company in a cash crunch. OGX needs $500 million to meet is current obligations and is in talks with its creditors. A large bond default will be difficult for managers in the current bond environment.
Wave of jellyfish shuts down Swedish nuclear reactor
A wave of jellyfish was large enough to shut down one of the world’s largest nuclear reactors in Sweden, according to the Associated Press. Jellyfish clogged the pipes that bring water in to cool the plant’s turbines. Marine biologists indicate that it is likely that this type of incident could happen again. There is currently no way to monitor jellyfish in the Baltic Sea.
Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner. McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner. Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors. She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.
McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.
Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth. Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.
McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)
Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.