Goodness, where do I start?

Let’s start with the Dow, which dropped 203 points on the first day of October after a lot of new jobless claims and a weak manufacturing news report. It ended the day at 9509.28. That was a 2.09% decrease on the day. The S&P and NASDAQ also dropped 2.58% and 3.06% at the same time. Now, if someone could tell me how investors couldn’t have seen jobless claims rising with all the reports that are out there, I’d really like to know. And manufacturing falling; is there a possibility that manufacturing is ever going to be the monster in this country again?

Next is news about Ford, the only auto company that didn’t take a government bailout. They had been touting their success, but they’ve taken a 5% sales hit for September, which also shouldn’t be much of a surprise as Cash For Clunkers ended, and September is traditionally a terrible month for car sales. Of course, it’s also strange that Volvo sales went up 16% and Ford’s trying to sell that off; am I missing something?

There was also a report that the government throws out there to try to make everyone think things are turning around. It stated that personal spending was up in September 1.3%, the highest increase since October 2001. Of course, they don’t say what it was, or do any real comparisons, so I’ll do them for you. One, schools have opened, which means lots of new school clothes and school supplies. After all, the kids still have to have what they have to have, right? Two, if all other numbers go down, and you have something that suddenly goes up, because it has to go up, then it figures the increase would jump nicely. By the way, as it concerns jumps in spending, does anyone else remember what happened in September 2001, which pretty much shut down the economy so that October had to be much higher by comparison?

We’re still not there, unfortunately, and though it’s better than it was in January and February, the economy still has a long way to go before we can start feeling better about things. But there are two good news things, I guess. One, no banks have closed so far this week, so we made it out of September sitting on 94 closures. And the price of gas hasn’t gone up in a couple of weeks, and actually went down a little bit.

Thank goodness for small things, right?