COMMENTARY | COLUMNISTS | GEORGE CHAMBERLIN

George Chamberlin's Money in the Morning

What is the message behind yesterday's 229-point rally in the Dow industrials? Obviously, it likely has something to do with the Fed meeting that started this morning and will end tomorrow with a press conference by chair Janet Yellen. Some would say the move higher in stock prices is based on the idea there will be no increase in short-term interest rates because of the recent volatility in the global economy, especially China. Yet others will say the markets are encouraged by the improving U.S. economy that will cause the Fed to move and raise rates for the first time in nearly a decade. Either way, we'll find out tomorrow what, if anything, the Fed will do.

******

The Fed is surely aware of this morning's report on inflation at the consumer level. More appropriate, the report is actually about the lack of inflation. The consumer price index, which measures the cost of living for consumers, declined by 0.1 percent in August, the first decline since January. Blame it all on lower gasoline prices as overall energy costs fell by 2.0 percent in the month, most of the decline at the pump. Over the past 12 months the CPI is up an anemic 0.2 percent.

******
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. A couple of companies have announced their hiring plans for the coming holiday season including UPS, which says it will bring on as many as 95,000 employees to handle the expected increase in deliveries between November and January. The company reminds us that many temporary hires turn into full-time jobs. Even CEO David Abney began with UPS 30 years ago with a part-time job loading trucks overnight.

******
Also putting out the help-wanted sign is Kohl's. The retailer will be hiring 69,000 workers for its stores and expanding warehouse activity as online sales increase.

******
One of America's great entrepreneurs passed away yesterday at the age of 67. Fred DeLuca borrowed $1,000 from a friend 50 years ago and opened a small sandwich shop in Bridgeport, Conn. The rest, as they say, is history. The shop spawned Subway, which today has more than 44,000 stores worldwide in 110 countries. Subway has remained a private company after all these years and is now bigger than McDonald's or any other restaurant chain. DeLuca had struggled with complications from leukemia for several years and had actually turned over the CEO duties to his sister.

User Response
0 UserComments