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1/6/10 Midday Report: A flat market at your service (sector)

The news out today is that the service sector grew, but less than expectations, so now we know how Vern Troyer's parents felt.  The ISM index of non-manufacturing jobs rose from 48.7 to 50.1 and anything over 50 signals expansion according to the arbitrary metrics measured by the index and the directionally correct economists who are paid to interpret them. This is the third time in four months the index has been over that oh so helpful 50 number (even if at 50.1 it was only over by a rounding error or a He Ping Ping nut hair, and yes that has been two "little person" jokes in the first paragraph so I am sure "Bridget the Midget" is anxiously waiting by her tiny phone).  This is a marginally good sign for the economy, but not significant enough for anyone to break out the Dom Perignon or slush fund to pay for that special Hannah Hilton visit.


Also today, ADP released their forecast of job losses for the month of December which came in at 84k, worse than the expectations of 75k according to Bloomberg, but better than expectations of 90k losses according to CNBC.  So for the tie breaker, we go to...(read more)...