A second day of selling for the major indices and it looks like the markets are back and focused on the dismal data of late. I wish I could say that we could see a bit of stability return, but tomorrow we get the highly anticipated non-farm payrolls. The consensus is a loss of 200K jobs so anything more than that and it could get ugly! The unemployment rate is thought to increase 0.2% to 6.4% and if that number is higher, lookout. Pay attention to any downward revisions from last month’s reading as well.
Here’s a few of the dismal headlines that are looming out there today. Mattel ($MAT) is set to cut 1,000 jobs worldwide because of economic slowdown. Dana Holdings ($DAN) is closing 10 plants and cutting 5,000 jobs from its payrolls. Fidelity Investments is laying off 1,300 workers, or about 3% of its workforce, and plans more in January. These are just from today and there are headlines like this every week.
Both Ford ($F) and General Motors ($GM) are due to report earnings tomorrow. Don’t expect anything smashing as the quarter will be poor and the forecast will be dismal. With the big three looking to get a piece of the government cheese, it’s pretty obvious that they are hurting and will be for some time.