Oh shit, just when the economy was looking better than a threesome with Hayley Atwell and Alice Eve, new jobless claims for last week rose for the second week in a row and economists didn't have Easter to blame this time. Well, actually they did, as a government analyst once again warned that the numbers could be skewed since Easter falls on a different day each year. Wow, really? You're going with that excuse again? Umm, if Money McBags is correct the numbers are seasonally fucking adjusted and since calendars have existed since shortly after the fucking neanderthals were exterminated (which was caused by too much contaminated dinosaur meat since those smallbrained fuckers never learned how to fucking use fire), shouldn't that seasonal adjustment adjust for Easter? Seriously, it's not like the day it fell on surprised anyone last year or this year (well, except for maybe Amy Winehouse or the hippocamus-ly challenged), so that excuse is lamer than Spectacular Bid or Boy Meets World reruns. Claims rose by 24k to 484k which is the highest since late February and the highest since the Great Walmart Lockout of 2006. There are still over 10MM people receiving some kind of unemployment benefit and since those benefits don't include being tucked in by Ashley Dupree (very NSFW, but required viewing), that's not good. In other macro news, defaults doubled in the government's loan modification program which is weird to think that people who couldn't afford mortgage payments still can't, even at lower rates. It's like being surprised that a kleptomaniac might want to steal again after being released from jail or that Tiger Woods is likely boning skanks again despite going to the laughable sex therapy (by the way, it's not called "sex addiction," it's called "having a penis"). In positive news, manufacturing production in the US gained as output of factories rose .9% with companies building back inventory while the Empire State manufacturing report demolished expectations. The survey came in at 32%, well above the expected 24%, and Money McBags has no idea what that means other than beating expectations is good and at least New Yorkers have something to cheer themselves up about while watching the Mets.
Internationally, Greece is back in the news again trying to screw up something good we all had going with the markets. It's like we'd been asking the markets out for 2 years, finally got her to come to dinner, got her home, and as we were about to inspect her large Sharpe ratios, the ruphies wore off. So thank you Greece for scaring the markets again with your rising interest rate spread. Of course there is more of a chance of the Laffer Curve being right than there is of Greece going bankrupt, so Money McBags will be buying at any big market dislocation caused by rumors of our Hellenic friends going to take a ride on the river Styx (though if they go to Styx, they should give a big "domo arigato" to Hades).
Also interntationally, China's economy is surging like William the Conqueror's popularity among the French in 1066. GDP was up 11.9% from last year which is more bubble-icious than Gonzo Grape. Not only that, but investment in real estate was up 35.1% and housing prices were up 11.7% in March alone. Wow. China is definitely hitting on all cylinders and their economy is busting out more than Lina Li thanks to the ginormous government stimulus, the artificially deflated currency value, and the accelerating population growth.
In stock news GOOG is running up in to earnings since, you know, they are fucking GOOG. Money McBags should have bought more but it is already an outsized position for him so he'll root for the best with their earnings report and likely buy any dip. UPS pre-reported their earnings today and grew profit by 37%. They earned $.71 per share, well above analyst guesses of $.58, and upped their full year EPS guidance from $2.70-$3.05 to $3.05-$3.30. Wow. Apparently people really want to ship some shit that can't be attached in an e-mail. This is a huge signal to the strength of a business rebound. International shipping was up 18% and while US shipping volumes were up less than 1%, it was the first growth in US shipping in two years. So yeah, it is barely up from a much lower base, but this is how things start out. A very encouraging quarter from UPS.
In small cap news, NTRI is starting to run and Money McBags has broken their business down a number of times here. They are cheap but operational issues keep Money McBags from owning this stock. Also, MLNK is trying to rally back from a huge sell off after missing their quarter. Money McBags has analyzed the fuck out of this company but it is ridonkulously cheap on an EV/EBITDA basis, trading at ~4x with a bigger cash cushion than Jennifer Lopez's ass cushion. This is a small holding of Money McBags and he is currently down ~10% on it but is thinking about nibbling at some more. The biggest issue is that their excuse for missing the quarter made less sense than Kathy Griffin's career as HP is their biggest customer and was up 10%, yet MLNK's sales were down 9% even including revenue from an acquisition. It is more head scratching than crabs as to why their revenues performed so poorly and why their guidance was down as the global economy and the consumer are picking up so this company should be seeing revenue growth off of such depressed numbers. That said, the stock has started acting better, so it is worth watching.