The Institute of Supply Management reported that its index fell to 37.3 in November. ISM is a trade group of purchasing executives, and the index is a measure of retailers, hotels and related industries, reports Ellen Simon for the Associated Press. A reading above 50 signals growth while a reading under 50 equals contraction. In October, the reading stood at 44.4.
The private sector is not sheltered from the economic fallout, either, as private employers cut 250,000 jobs in November, the most in seven years, reports Reuters. Analysts were predicting that 200,000 jobs would be cut. Overall, Friday’s employment report is anticipated to show losses in the 325,000 range, with November the 11th month in a row for job losses.
One analyst is calling for a 10.8% unemployment rate or higher if President-elect Barack Obama’s administration fails to deliver the massive fiscal makeover. This would top the post-World War II high, according to Aaron Task on Tech Ticker for Yahoo Finance.
GM’s top executive reported Wednesday that bankruptcy is not an option for the automaker. Fritz Henderson, president and chief operating officer of GM, said that choosing the bankruptcy route would further erode consumer confidence in the automaker, reports Julie Hirsch for the Associated Press. Possible plans included no further additions to accounts that pay benefits for laid-off workers, and postponing the car makers’ payments into the multi-billion dollar health care fund, headed by the Bush administration.
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction (ITB) is the top-performing ETF in early trading. It’s down 46.5% year-to-date.
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