Normally, the 290,000 jobs the U.S. economy added last month as reported in the April jobs report, would have been the biggest news of last week, but things were not normal, particularly in the stock market, as the Dow industrials fell nearly 6%, the S&P 500 was off 6.3%, and the Nasdaq lost nearly 8%. The currency markets were volatile as well, as the euro fell 4.3% during the week, and bond yields soared in Portugal and Spain; on Sunday, May 9, finance ministers from the European Union met in Brussels in an attempt to stop the bleeding by organizing a “stabilization” fund through the European Central Bank to the 16 euro-zone countries in the EU.
Back in the U.S., Senate floor debate continues on Senator Chris Dodd’s financial services reform bill, the Financial Stability Act of 2010. Arthur D. Postal reports that the Dodd bill’s sponsors hope to have completed work on the bill by Friday, May 14; last week the Congressional Budget Office released the latest cost estimate on the bill.
The House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations holds a hearing May 11 on TARP oversight and warrant repurchases; that same afternoon, the Committee’s Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises holds a hearing on last week’s stock market plunge; and on May 12, Barney Frank’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity holds a hearing on Minorities and Women in Financial Regulatory Reform.
As for economic reports, on Tuesday, May 11, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its job openings and labor turnover report; the Census Bureau releases its international trade report on May 12; and on May 14, the Federal Reserve releases the latest industrial production numbers, while Reuters and the University of Michigan release their consumer sentiment report.
President Obama is scheduled to discuss the economy in a speech in Buffalo on May 13; in remarks he made about the May 7 jobs report, Obama pointed out that even the increase in the unemployment rate to 9.9% was, ironically, good news.