The Dow fell 253 points on Friday closing at 11,240 due to a stagnant jobs report indicating that the U.S. had created no new jobs in August, the first time since the early 1940's. European and Asian markets fell dramatically on Monday due to fears of a U.S. recession, according to the Associated Press. Negative news from Europe also spurred the market with the yields on bonds from Italy, Greece and Spain rising dramatically compared to German bonds, that are seen as a safe haven. World markets on Tuesday appear a little more stable.
Union workers at Ford threatening to strike
UAW workers at Ford are threatening to strike if a contract is not agreed to by mid-September, as reported by Fox News. Ford was the only major U.S. car manufacturer that did not take bail-out money from the government. It has been somewhat successful in the past few years. Clearly that success comes with a price. Approximately 97% of workers indicated they supported a strike. Similar UAW contracts are up for negotiation at Chrysler and GM, however, the Ford workers seemed more likely to strike. Some experts indicate that the threats are merely a negotiating tool.
Swiss government angry at U.S. threats of new tax treaty
The Swiss government and the Swiss banks are angry with the U.S. who is threatening another treaty aimed at finding American accounts at Swiss banks that are suspected of dodging U.S. taxes, according to the Associated Press. A tax treaty was agreed to by the Swiss in 2009, but never ratified by the U.S. Senate. In the interim, UBS, Switzerland's largest bank, was forced to disclose records and was fined $780 million. The Swiss fear that the U.S. will soon bring a similar lawsuit against Credit Suisse, the second largest Swiss Bank. Swiss officials say the U.S. is "looking for someone else to pay its debts."
Gold close to record again
The price of gold has recovered nicely in recent weeks and closed at $1,902 per troy ounce on Monday, close to its recent record of $1,911 hit two weeks ago, according to the Financial Times. The rise in gold is blamed on the poor economic reports from the U.S. and Europe. When adjusted for inflation, the price of gold is still not at 1980 records.
"Buy American" emphasized by many
In recent months an onslaught of individuals and businesses supporting the concept of "Buy American" has increased. Diane Sawyer, news anchor for ABC News, has been promoting buying American for the last several months with the belief that if every American spent $3.33 more on American made goods it would create 10,000 U.S. jobs. A new store in Delray Beach, Florida is called "Made in the USA Certified Store", according to the USA Today. A report by the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank indicates that more items are purchased in America than believed. Only shoes and clothing are more likely to be made elsewhere with 36% being made in China compared to only 25% made in America.