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The Shrinking iPad...
Interesting developments to come - See what made the cut...

The Shrinking iPad...
Asian suppliers for Apple have started mass production of a new tablet smaller than the current iPad. Experts believe that the new iPad tablet is expected to have a 7.85-inch liquid crystal display compared with 9.7 inches for the iPad3 and will be superior in many ways to the current 7-inch tablets on the market. The new mini iPad will have access to the 680,000 apps that are designed to work with Apple’s suite of products or “ecosystem” as well as with tools and platforms like the iTunes music store, iCloud virtual storage system and Apple TV. Many tech pros expect the littler iPad will still outweigh other small tablets. The iPad 3 came under fire from critics who claimed its weight of 652 grams, 20% heavier than the 9-inch Nook HD from Barnes & Noble made it difficult to carry and read. While it remains unclear the price tag the smaller iPad it will most likely be the most expensive small tablet on the market.

Thirty One Consecutive Months of Jobs Growth...
Yes, the economy has a long way to go for a full recovery however; with the unemployment rate falling below 8% - hitting 7.8% in September - it certainly provides some optimism. It is clear that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, support for the auto industry and other policies implemented in the 111th Congress in 2009 and 2010 were the right path forward, for the American people. The economic hemorrhaging of jobs began in 2008 with the economy shedding jobs to the sour tune of 20,000 'per day' into winter of 2008 - 2009. Revisions for August and July showed a bigger increase in hiring than previously believed. Mainly through the hiring of more teachers, state and local governments accounted for virtually all of the added job gains. The downside - the U.S. labor market is not improving fast enough to provide jobs for the millions of Americans who want a job but cannot find work. Some 23.2 million people can only find part-time work or have no job at all. Even with improved hiring during late summer, companies are not adding workers as fast as they did earlier 2012. Monthly job growth averaged 146,000 in Q3, down from 226,000 in Q1 2012.

The presidential election in November is a snag in all aspects of the economy. Consumer spending - the engine of economic growth - has leveled off with many businesses delaying hiring as well as making investment decisions until after the presidential election in November.

The biggest increase in hiring during September took place in finance, health care, transportation and warehousing. The U.S. government tacked on 10,000 jobs during September with a combined 73,000 jobs during Q3, per revised data. Since mid-2008, that is the biggest increase in full time jobs which suggests the government is no longer a drag on the economy. Most states have improved their state budget outlook and have reduced laying off as many workers. Manufacturers, however, recorded their second consecutive month of job loss, shedding 16,000 jobs during September following a 22,000 drop in August. Until recently, manufacturing had been one of the strongest sectors of the economy, and many of the jobs are high-paying.

Construction trade which is widely known as one of strongest sectors of the economy, added 5000 workers during September after a slight gain of 1,000 during August. Despite a spike in new-home sales this year it would take about 28 months to recoup all the jobs lost during the last recession, at the recent pace of job growth, as the U.S. remains short about 4.1 million jobs compared to its precession peak. Estimates are that the economy would have to generate at least 250,000 jobs each month for several years, to reduce unemployment rate to pre-recession levels of approximately 6%. Limiting the ability of consumers to spend spirals back to newly hired employees finding work in lower-paying fields. Average hourly wages rose 0.4% in September to $23.58 resulting a climb of 1.8% over the past year however; most of that has been eaten up by inflation. Average hourly workweek slithered higher by 0.1 hour to 34.5 in September. The average hourly workweek usually rises as the economy gets stronger however; those hours have been essentially flat for the past year. The sluggish pace of improvement in the labor market is evident in a measure of unemployment known as the U6 rate. The U6 rate refers to those who can only find part-time jobs or have given up looking for work. The U6 jobless rate remained unchanged at 14.7% for September.

On an overall view of the job front, improvement remains slow of course but, we are seeing improvements. Though probably not sustainable, household jobs surged 873k, the labor force rose 418k, and the participation rate rose to 63.6. The number of self-employed individuals continues to rise. Makes sense and why not. If the unemployed can't get a job working for someone else at the rate of pay they feel they have the ability to earn, entrepreneurship can give the economy a substantial boost. Entrepreneurship is a key to economic recovery. Small business lending ability will be the deciding factor in many, small businesses or new entrepreneurs adding to the base of the U.S. economic recovery.

Facebook Reduces Line of Credit...
Facebook Inc. (FB) announced plans to cut the size of its line of credit from $3 billion to $1.5 billion. The social phenom also plans to expand the loan terms to three years from one year - giving it more time to repay its bankers. Reports are that Facebook doesn't need as much money to pay for tax liabilities associated with the vesting of employee stock and intends to use loans or its cash reserves if market conditions falter. Facebook had said it would aim to fund tax obligations through another stock offering, and that iA 45% slump in Facebook's shares since their debut in May makes it difficult for the company to inject more shares into the market. Closing at $20.91 a share on Friday, the anticipated blockbuster IPO from months ago looks to be loosing 'face' for investors.

Snowstorm in Denver...
Early snow set in on the mountains as the week wound up on Friday, potentially setting the tone for the upcoming winter months. Could early snow be in the forecast for the Northeastern states as well?


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