The Week Unpeeled
The world watched New York and the East Coast once again last week as Sandy destroyed, disrupted and at times stopped everything she touched, including the markets, business, the economy, the elections, transportation and even the marathon. Interesting to watch headlines from the sidelines in London, where coverage started only slowly and built over the week as the real damage was determined. In fact, the shutdown of the marathon played to bigger headlines here than the storm itself, it seemed. Mayor Bloomberg’s support of Obama received a surprising amount of ink (mostly for the green vote) and the UK press interpreted the jobless numbers as a definite plus for the president, more so than the analysis by the US press. (“Obama over last hurdle as race reached final straight,” The Times, Saturday.) Polls Sunday night showed Obama/Romney deadlocked ahead of the election on Tuesday. (Personal note: Not surprising but a real threat in my opinion to traditional media: Facebook, Twitter provided far quicker and more useful coverage to me on Sandy from “citizen journalists” than any network or cable coverage. NY1, granted located in downtown New York, had the least informative coverage, and CNN much better “local” coverage.)
- The US jobless rate rose to 7.9 percent in October from 7.8 percent in September, with payroll rising by a better-than-expected 171,000 with prior months revised upward;
- The Eurozone, meanwhile, hit a record number of joblessness at 11.6 percent in September, compared with 11.5b percent in September;
- Disney buys Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion;
- The Dow lost ground for the week, ending down 0.1 percent after shutting down due to Sandy (of note on that story, CNN and Weather Channel both inaccurately reported that the NYSE was at one point under three feet of water, raising crisis levels during a crisis); and
- Apple launched its iPad Mini and lines were mini-er than expected.