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Friday, March 31, 2023

Wall Street fell on earnings reports and bad US economic data

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Procter & Gamble reported lower-than-expected quarterly earnings and its shares were down 0.80%.

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St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said Wednesday that despite cooling inflation the central bank should continue to rapidly raise interest rates until they are above 5% to prevent inflationary pressures from returning.

The retail sales December in the United States recorded its biggest drop in a yearwhile the manufacturing production had his greatest collapse in almost two yearssince the increase in the cost of loans affected the demand for goods.

Even so, several officials at the Federal Reserve said that rates must rise above 5%despite the fact that inflation shows signs of having peaked and economic activity is slowing down.

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The initial claims for state unemployment benefits they dropped by 15,000 to 190,000 seasonally adjusted for the week ending Jan. 14, the Labor Department said Thursday. This is its lowest level since September.

Part of the surprise drop in applications was likely due to continued challenges adjusting the data to seasonal fluctuations at the beginning of the year.

Through seasonal volatility, orders have remained at levels consistent with a tight labor market, even as layoffs have accelerated in the technology industry and in interest rate sensitive sectors such as finance and housing.

Outside the technology industry, economists say companies are generally reluctant to send workers home after difficulties finding jobs during the pandemic. They hope companies cut back on hiring before resorting to layoffs.

In fact, the Federal Reserve Beige Book reported Wednesday that “many companies hesitated to lay off employees even as demand for their goods and services slowed and they planned to reduce headcount through their own departures if necessary.

The applications decreased between the December and January survey weeks. The economy added 223,000 jobs in January.

Source: Ambito

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