The U.S. Labor Department said that the unemployment rate increased from 9.4% to 9.7% in August with a net loss of 216,000 jobs. It is the highest unemployment rate since June of 1983, but the number of jobs lost was a little less than expected. The December 2010 eurodollars were down .03 at 98.185.
The Labor Department also revised the number of jobs lost from 247,000 to 276,000 in July and from 443,000 to 463,000 in June. The December U.S. T-bonds dropped 1.20/32nds to 119.02/32nds, the lowest close this week.
Grains and Cotton
Yesterday’s 6 to 10 day forecast from the National Weather Service looks safely warm for the Midwest with chances for above average precipitation. December corn fell 9.5 cents to a new contract low of $3.062.
USDA Secretary Vilsack said that his department has purchased $151 million of pork this year for federal assistance programs and will buy another $30 million before the year is over. October hogs closed up .72 at 50.50.
After the close, the USDA estimated this week’s beef production at 515.8 million pounds, up 10.3% from a year ago. Pork production was estimated at 452.0 million pounds, up 11.7% from a year ago. October cattle were down .07 at 86.65.
After the close, Glen Grimes and Ron Plain of the University of Missouri estimated that the hog industry lost $3.6 billion from October of 2007 to July of 2009, not quite as bad yet as the $4.45 billion loss in 1998 and 1999. As they pointed out, the current cycle of losses is not finished yet.
December coffee finished up 3.30 cents at $1.2410, helped by bargain-hunting and by what appears to be steady improvement in the world economy.
October sugar got hit with some selling today and closed down 1.54 cents at 21.60. Is it the end of the up-trend or another buying opportunity in a tight market?
November orange juice ended down .60 at 91.65 while the hurricane watch looks quiet for Florida heading into Labor Day weekend.
December gold was down $1.00 at $995.40 after today’s jobs report, backing away from the $1,000-mark. Today’s unemployment report makes it likely that interest rates will remain low for at least the next few months.
OPEC members meet in Vienna on Wednesday and are not expected to make any changes to the official production levels. November crude oil ended unchanged at $68.55.
Statistics Canada said that the unemployment rate increased from 8.6% to 8.7% in August, but the economy also added 27,100 jobs, the first job gain in four months and better than expected. The September Canadian dollar closed up 1.50 cents at 92.10.
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.