Wall Street would probably feel safer hanging out with Plaxico Burress at a night club than bet money on Friday’s November unemployment report. The Labor Department is expected to report the jobless rate rose to 6.8% and that another wave of jobs cuts will be coming.
As unemployment goes up so do the number of claims. Last week unemployment benefits reached 4 million…the highest level in over 25 years. The report comes out before the market opens so it will likely have a major influence in the early going.
Oil closed below $44 a barrel and could be headed below $40. Hard to believe that oil is down nearly 70% from its $147 peak in the summer. Oil and oil stocks don’t always trade in tandem but there was some serous action in the Exxon Mobil (XOM, $76.27, down $2.66) put options.
Specifically, the December 75 puts (XOMXO, $3.25, up $1.25) opened at $2.65 and hit a low of $2.05 as Exxon traded in positive territory for a few minutes after the opening bell. Nearly 12,000 contracts traded hands.
The big wigs of Ford (F, $2.66, down $0.19) and General Motors (GM, $4.11, down $0.79) will appear before the House committee again. They will get some cash but it’s a shame how they must squirm when the goverment has thrown billions and billions to other industries. We cannot lose the auto industry but something has gotta happen quick.