The major indexes rose sharply in the morning following better-than-expected jobs data and news that Germany increased support for the European bailout efforts. But the morning rally faded in the afternoon before rallying into the bell. The Dow gained 143 points, and the S&P 500 rose by 9 points. The Nasdaq, however, closed lower by 10 points. Twenty-eight of the Dow’s 30 components gained ground, led by Travelers (TRV), which rose 3%. Volume was moderate, and advancing issues outnumbered decliners by almost two to one on the NYSE and five to three on the Nasdaq. The prices of Treasuries strengthened, while the price of gold futures gained 0.04% to $1,617.30 an ounce. The price of crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 1% to $82.14 a barrel.
In Other Business News:
- New claims for unemployment benefits fell unexpectedly by 37,000 to 391,000 last week, according to the Labor Department. That was the lowest number of weekly claims since the beginning of April. The four-week moving average of claims fell for the first time in six weeks, dipping to 417,000.
- The Commerce Department revised its estimate of economic growth up in the second quarter from an annual rate of 1% to 1.3%, and while the higher growth rate is welcome, it is still below what the economy needs to create more jobs and return to health.
- Contracts to buy homes fell in August, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index of pending home sales fell to 88.6, with a reading of 100 regarded as the reading that signifies a “healthy” real estate market.
- The German parliament approved a plan that would increase the power and funds available to the European Financial Stability Facility, or EFSF--an organization established to shore up debt-laden countries like Greece. Among other things, the new German plan increases Germany’s commitment to the EFSF from 123 billion euros to 211 billion euros.
- The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.01% this week, the lowest level since 1951, according to Freddie Mac. And the average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.28%, its lowest level ever.
After years of maintaining strict secrecy, Google recently issued a report detailing how much electricity it uses. It sounds like a lot, but I’m not sure because the company’s entire business consists of electrons running around at the speed of light (or slightly less). Anyway, the particulars include:
- Worldwide, Google draws almost 260 million watts, which is about one-fourth of the output of the average nuclear power plant and enough to power 200,000 homes.
- The typical Google search uses 0.3 watt hours of power, and the company conducts about 1 billion such searches for its users every day. Thus, Google searches draw about 12.5 million watts, or only about 5% of Google’s total power usage. The rest goes for other services such as YouTube.
Google says about 25% of its electricity in 2010 came from renewable sources like wind generators, and that will increase to 30% this year. The company also argues that its business contributes to a cleaner environment because without Google searches, a lot of people would burn gasoline driving to the library.
Potential headlines for this story:
- “Google guzzles juice”
- “If we are watt we eat, Google is power”