The bad news and the good news
The bad news is that the jobs market is still a mess, but anyone who's here on CAPS probably already knew that. Weekly jobless claims, the most timely read available on the jobs market other than perhaps the Challenger, Gray & Christmas on announced job cuts, soared to 667,000...a 26-year high. Continuing claims soared to over 5 million for the first time.
Of course, it is difficult to compare these numbers to historical ones because the population of the U.S. is larger now than it was in the past, but things are still clearly getting worse. Jobs are considered to be a lagging indicator, but still these numbers are not good.
Jobless claims spike to 26-year high
More on the bad news front, this morning the Commerce Department said that in January sales of newly built U.S. single-family homes dropped 10.2% to a record low (they began keeping records back in 1963). The prices of such homes dropped 13.5% to their lowest level in five years and the largest percentage drop since July 1970.
On a more positive note, inventory levels are dropping. The January inventory number of 342,000, is the lowest it has been in five years. However, given the slowing pace of home sales the month's supply of homes is sitting at a record high 13.3.
New-Home Sales Tumble To Record Low; Prices Fall
And now for the good news. The good news is that I just found this sick video of LeBron James scoring 16 points in only two minutes versus the Bucks the other day on his way to a 55 point evening. Wow, shades of MJ.
I actually have a cool story about LeBron that will serve as a nice distraction from all of the bad news out there. I always have been fascinated by college recruiting and how general managers form teams. Basically how things work and are created in sports, much like my current fascination with how the economy works.
Many moons ago a friend and I traveled to the Adidas ABCD High School All Star camp. It basically is an exhibition where the top high school basketball talent from around the country goes to strut their stuff in front of college coaches. Not many people in the general public attend, but it is open to anyone for something like five bucks, at least it was back then. It's held in a small gymnasium at a local college. You're about ten feet away from the action, sitting on old bleachers next to people like Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun, which is amazing in itself.
Anyhow back to the story. I went to the ABCD camp to see a local superstar who never really made it, Lenny Cooke (a sad story...he opted for the draft and wasn't selected). I was all amped up to see Cooke crush everyone, but the whole time he kept getting smoked by some high school Junior. A freaking Junior was taking him to school. Blowing past him. Hitting turnaround jumpers. Crazy stuff. He completely blew my mind. I was like who in the heck is this guy? It was Lebron.