Morning Financial News

Here is a quick trip through the major news this morning with some links.

The ECB cut its main interest rate by 0.5% to 2.0%. The statement accompanying the rate was typical central bank speak. In a nutshell, things are not looking too good.

The four week moving average of unemployment claims was 4.498 million, up slightly from 4.470 million last week. As I’ve said before, pay no attention to the weekly numbers as they are subject to all sorts of noise and concentrate on the four week moving average and watch the trend. Frankly, it’s bad but not the collapse-yet-that everyone seems to be anticipating.

JP Morgan Chase reported a fourth quarter profit of $702 million versus a profit of $3 billion for the fourth quarter of 2007. For the full year, the bank earned $5.6 billion. Last year it earned $15.4 billion. It’s ugly but probably a victory of sorts just to post black numbers.

more: here ECB, here Unemployment, here JP Morgan

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