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Two Safe Ways to Profit From the "Alibaba Shockwave Effect"

In the mid-1990s, I was fortunate to meet and start working with an Upstate New York money manager named Anthony M. Gallea.

The relationship began when I attended and wrote stories about some of the investment seminars he periodically held for prospective and existing clients. He then became a “source” for some of the investment stories I periodically wrote for Gannett Newspapers. And we ultimately collaborated on a pretty successful book about “Contrarian Investing” that was published by Prentice Hall.

Along the way, Tony shared some pretty important snippets of investing wisdom…

  • Featured Story

    February Jobs Report: Here's What to Expect

    Blue Tie

    Expect a disappointing jobs report for February thanks to higher taxes and sequestration fears that put companies' hiring plans on hold last month.

    Economists expect nonfarm payrolls to show a gain of 160,000 jobs in February, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 7.9%, when the Labor Department releases the February jobs report tomorrow (Friday) at 8:30 a.m.

    Employment growth has averaged 177,000 per month over the last six months, and February is expected to fall short.  

    One reason is the 2% payroll tax cut that ended with 2012, leaving workers with less disposable income. Also, top income earners were slapped with a higher tax rate.

    The full tax impact wasn't felt in January, but retailers and restaurants are beginning to feel the pain.

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  • us labor department jobs report

  • Take a Closer Look Before Cheering the November U.S. Jobs Report The Department of Labor today (Friday) released the November U.S. jobs report, which showed the U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs last month, handily beating most economists' expectations.

    The addition pushed the unemployment rate down from an unhealthy 7.9% to a still elevated 7.7%. That is the lowest level in four years, since December 2008.

    Projections for the unemployment level ranged for it hold steady at 7.9% or rise to up to 8.1%.

    But the reasons for the drop aren't as encouraging as the lowered rate itself.

    The Real Story of the November U.S. Jobs Report

    The reason behind the surprising drop was because more dejected workers simply left the labor force. Some 350,000 people, unable to find work and no longer looking for a job, have dropped off the radar and were not counted among the slew of individuals still out of work.

    The labor participation rate fell 20 basis points to 63.6%. Without this drop in the labor force, the unemployment rate would have remained at 7.9%.

    Three years after the end of the 2007-2009 recession, the labor force participation rate remains extremely weak. If the rate reflected normal levels, the unemployment rate would be considerably higher.

    Also contributing to the unexpected uptick was early seasonal retail hiring, instead of long-term sustainable positions. Retail was a key jobs producer in November, adding 53,000 to payrolls.

    That's partly due to Thanksgiving being earlier this year than usual. Plus, more stores kicked-off the holiday shopping spree much before the usual Black Friday start.

    These factors "suggest an asterisk will have to be put alongside the monthly non-farm report," Bloomberg senior economist Joseph Brusuelas wrote in today's Bloomberg Economics Brief.

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  • The Truth Behind the U.S. Labor Department Employment Report The U.S. Labor Department employment report released today (Friday) showed a better-than-expected payroll jump to 200,000, and the unemployment rate dropped to 8.5%. However, the numbers aren't nearly as promising as they seem.

    The payroll increase was double the revised 100,000 rise in November, and about 30% higher than the projected 155,000 increase. Private companies added 212,000 jobs, while the public sector lost 12,000.

    The unemployment rate is now the lowest since February 2009.

    The payroll jump is a good sign, but this month's U.S. Labor Department employment report isn't a reliable forecast for... Read More...