Stocks hover and then fall: Will this be the ninth straight down day for the Dow? Investors remain nervous - probably too much so.
Mixed job news: The number of planned layoffs rose to a 16-month high in July, which is not good, but payroll processor ADP says private employers added more jobs than expected. The government comes out with its own jobs report on Friday. (Reuters)
Growing odds of another recession: That's the word from five of the nine economists on the academic panel that dates recessions. From Bloomberg:
"This economy is really balanced on the edge," Harvard University economics professor Martin Feldstein, a member of the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, said yesterday in an interview on Bloomberg Television's "Surveillance Midday" with Tom Keene. "There's now a 50 percent chance that we could slide into a new recession. Nothing has given us much growth."
Congress went after wrong problems: And the problems that matter aren't going away, says LAT columnist Mike Hiltzik:
The toll can be measured in several categories. One is the way the debate elevated deficit panic, an entirely fabricated issue in terms of today's policy necessities, to legitimacy. Another is how even within its own fantasy universe the agreement targets spending that isn't a significant problem in the federal budget, while ignoring the chief driver of deficit growth: healthcare costs.
Lukewarm car sales: July's seasonally adjusted annual rate was 12.2 million, up 6.2 percent from the previous month and besting estimates. With supply issues being cleared up, look for stronger sales in August. (Calculated Risk)
Why Amazon is fighting taxes: If the online retailer were forced to collect sales taxes in all states, it would lose as much as $653 million in sales this year, says a report by Credit Suisse. (WSJ)
Ground turkey mystery: Government investigators are looking for clues in connection with a salmonella outbreak that's apparently resulted in one death and 76 illnesses. From AP:
The lack of information so far from government officials may be attributed to USDA rules that make it harder to investigate and recall salmonella-tainted poultry. Because salmonella is common in poultry, it is not illegal for meat to be tainted with the pathogen. Officials must directly link the salmonella illnesses with a certain producer or establishment, which is difficult to do because people don't always remember what they ate or where they bought it. In this case, it appears that officials haven't been able to prove the link between the samples of salmonella they found - even though they are the same strain - and the 77 people who were sickened.
Stalemate over FAA leaves 4,000 out of work: The agency's partial shutdown, which is unlikely to be resolved until at least next month, has also suspended airport construction projects involving tens of thousands of construction workers. From the NYT:
The impasse centers on disagreements between Republicans and Democrats over a program that subsidizes commercial air service to rural airports. But behind the scenes, a larger fight has been taking place over federal rules on labor elections in the airline industry.
Bob Hope traffic still down: The Burbank airport handled 371,931 passengers in June, down 5.1 percent from a year earlier. It's the fourth straight month of declines, largely the result of airlines cutting back on flights. (Valley Sun)