The market held steady today like the Universe according to Fred Hoyle or the unemployment rate over the past several months. Speaking of unemployment, jobs data came out in advance of tomorrow's already leaked positive government non farm payrolls report which will no doubt feature a birth/death model plug so large that it will be able to stop up even Jennifer Lopez's ample backside. Today's release by ADP showed that private firms added 55k jobs in May which was below the 70k guessed by economists. That said, 55k new jobs out of 20MM unemployed workers is so irrelevant it's like the Octomom and her likely cavernous hoohah getting any pleasure out of being boned by the late great He Ping Ping and his little ding ding. It's called a hot dog down a hallway my friends. Also, new claims for unemployment fell by 10k from 460k to 453k as the Labor Department apparently hired Dostoevsky's Underground Man as their accountant and he finally got his wishes of 2 x 2 not equalling 4. Last week Money McBags reported on the 14k drop in new claims to bring the number down to 460k, but the Labor Department went to work (pun intended) and recounted their made up estimates and have revised last week's new claims upwards to get to 463k which means claims dropped by 11k and not 14k last week. So that is how 460k - 10k = 453k. Money McBags eagerly awaits next week's made up number that will also test the limits of believability and mathematics like claiming Josie Maran isn't hot or trying to divide her awesomeness by zero. In other macro news, the ISM’s index of non-manufacturing businesses came in at 55.4 for the third month in a row which was below the median guess of 55.6 but still showed some expansion with the service sector going from flacid to half mast.
Internationally, markets in Europe rose before the open as economic data showed that Europe has yet to adopt the barter system even with the Euro on life support (though hopefully better life support than what Rue McClanahan was on). Markit's UK services purchasing managers index (and Money McBags dares you to say that 3 times quickly) rose to 55.4 in May which is strangely the same ordinal number that the ISM's US service sector index showed, so it's good to see that the US and UK are both goalseeking for the same numbers. Now Money McBags doesn't want to tell the governments how to collude, but perhaps they should use different fucking numbers when making shit up and make us at least attempt to use Benford's law to call BS. While the Markit number showed expansion, digging deeper showed a slow down of new business growth and employment which is as positive of a sign for the UK as the "narrow bridge, use caution"" sign was for Ted Kennedy. Finally, Japan's finance minister Naoto Kan, is said to be in the lead to become the new Prime Minister and who could be a better choice to run the world's second biggest economy than a guy who has twice had to resign positions for failing to make his pension fund payments (no really, he did). With judgment and ethics like that, Kan is said to be in discussions with the US to extradite Bernie Madoff and appoint him to the now vacant finance minister role.
In stock news, Moody's and Fitch cut their ratings on BP because apparently it wasn't obvious to the whole world that BP is fucked. Rumor is tomorrow the ratings agencies will be cutting ratings on Enron, New Century Financial, and Jimmie Walker's career. Also, retailers reported their monthly sales numbers and results were mixed and came in at 2.5% growth, .1% below guesses with weakness seen in the West. Surprisingly, Costco had one of the biggest misses, though they still grew 5%, as people are still buying cheap shit but apparently not as fast as expected, perhaps because they bumped into the top of their credit lines.
In small cap news today, JOEZ shot up 6% today on average volume and no news that Money McBags could find other than that they opened up a new store in Cincinatti last week. Wow. Really? You're selling premium priced fashionable jeans and the place you find to open your 13th store is Cincifuckingnatti? Really? What's wrong, was Des Moines? Too upscale? Opening up a Joe's Jeans in Cincinatti makes as much sense as Simona Halep's decision to become less top heavy (listen Simona, you're ranked 166th in the fucking world by the WTA, so here's a little hint: It's not the fucking boobs that are holding you back, it's that you're just not that good at tennis. So as long as your ground game blows, why not continue to highlight your volleys?). Now look, if Money McBags were in charge of strategy at JOEZ, first of all, he would strategize the operations guy out the fucking door since they have controlled costs as well as Al Gore controlled his son, or his marriage. Secondly, he wouldn't be opening any damn stores in Cincinatti or the entire state of Ohio until he had penetrated the entire East Coast, West Coast, and Amanda Seyfried. Heck, Money McBags would open a store in the deliciously named Butte, Montana before Cincinatti because where better to have a jeans store than Butte? That's some free marketing and strategy right there. Anyway, Money McBags is sticking with his $.13 to $.15 high end range for JOEZ' eps so he doesn't think it is terribly cheap in an environment where uncertainty is dominating which makes small growth stocks that are highly levered to consumer spend and fashion trends riskier than playing grab ass with a person suffering from a bad case of irritable bowel syndrome.