Daily Data Flow: Stocks Fall on Disappointing Earnings; Jobless Claims Holding Steady; Euro Gains on Dollar

Daily Data Flow

Stocks Fall on Disappointing Earnings (Bloomberg)
Stocks fell today, reaching their lowest point in six weeks as earnings proved discouraging to investors. “We’ve come to a period of negative economic surprises,” Mark Luschini, the chief investment strategist at Janey Montgomery Scott LLC, said. “Whether it’s a pullback or a corrective phase, I think it’ll just be a pause because I don’t think the fundamental underpinnings are deteriorating more.”

Jobless Claims Holding Steady (CNBC)
Despite a small seasonal increase in the number of claims filed for unemployment benefits, economists correlate current numbers with good monthly job gain numbers, easing concerns of further deterioration in the labor market. “We had a lot of volatility since the end of the quarter,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities in Stamford, Conn. “This is a fairly clean, stable number. There is some slight strengthening in labor conditions but nothing dramatic.”

Euro Gains on Dollar (Reuters)
The euro moved higher against the dollar today, as investors believe the United States’ economic recovery is slowing down. “The keys to the euro going forward should be squarely in the hands of euro zone data. A continued stream of lackluster data would strengthen the case for an ECB rate cut and weigh on the euro,” said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington. The yen fell against both aforementioned currencies.

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My wife and I just returned from Hawaii, where we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary and gave talks at the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a free-market think tank (http://www.grassrootinstitute.org/). In light of April 15, I talked about tax policy in theory and practice, explaining that most tax policies violate the accountability principle, i.e., that those who benefit should pay (the user pay concept) and adding that most taxes distort economic incentives and hurt economic growth.

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