This Week’s Business News

Personal Incomes

Incomes for all Americans rose 0.4% in May, below Wall Street expectations but far above the negative figure posted in April.

Consumer spending in May roughly was in line with incomes.

Jobless Claims

The four-week average of initial claims for jobless benefits – i.e., layoffs – now stands at 316,000. To put that into perspective, back in June 1997 that figure was 325,000.

Yep — fewer people today are being laid off from their jobs when compared to the same period a decade ago. Obviously if Lou Dobbs knew about that he’d projectile vomit.

Club Fed

The voting members of the U.S. Federal Reserve believe our economy “seems likely to continue to expand at a moderate pace over coming quarters.”

Regarding inflation, Club Fed apparently believes it’s less of a risk today than in recent weeks and months. I don’t know about that one, but time will tell.

Home Sales

5.99 million existing homes were sold in May, in line with Wall Street expectations and virtually identical to the 6.01 million sold in April.

915,000 newly-constructed homes were sold in May, below Wall Street expectations and below the 930,000 brand-new homes sold in April.

It goes without saying existing and new home sales both are well below the outsized levels achieved at the apex of the recent housing boom.

Construction Spending

Overall spending on construction projects in May posted a month-to-month gain of 0.9%, substantially above Wall Street expectations and the 0.2% gain recorded in April. Private-sector construction made up 76% of the value of total projects.


Apple’s much-ballyhooed iPhone debuted Friday morning. Thousands of young technophiles undoubtedly lined up for a chance to spend several hundred dollars on a gadget that will go out of style within a few years.

BTW, what ever happened to the Betamax?

On a serious note, Apple’s share price has jumped 40 percent since the iPhone was announced. If you recently purchased shares then you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, wipe off the foam from the side of your mouth, and then read – line-by-line – the following books:

“The Intelligent Investor,” by Ben Graham.
“Security Analysis,” by Ben Graham.
“Wall Street on Sale,” by Timothy Vick.

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Data Sources: Census Bureau, National Association of Realtors, Labor Department, Commerce Department, FOMC Statement.

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