Bank of America (BAC, $14.93, up $0.02) said it will cut up to 35,000 jobs over the next three years. The job cuts have been worse than expected but the market held up rather well despite the barrage of negative news we got. Layoffs are expected in an economic downturn, and the financial industry has seen its fair share but the other sectors continue to feel the pinch as well. However, what we are witnessing now may end of being one of the most devastating wave of layoffs we will ever see. Most severe economic downturns are caused by a stalling economy, rising inflation, a faltering bond market and skyrocketing oil prices. Check, check, check…and, well, at least oil prices have come off their $145 a barrel high. No one knows where the bottom of this market will be but with many companies cutting what seems like an easy 10% of its workforce it will be getting worse before it gets better. With weekly initial jobless claims rising to 573,000 (a 26-year high) it shows how brutal the job market is becoming. Rick Rouse]]>