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Newest initial claims for unemployment numbers seem to show slowing rate of improvement in economy

There'd nothing very clear about the trend in today's report on new claims for unemployment in the week ended on September 12. (The period is important because it coincides with the survey period for the monthly jobs report for September.)The number of Americans applying for unemployment in regular state unemployment programs fell by 33,000 to 860,000 for the week. Economists had expected a bigger drop in initial claims to 850,000. Continuing claims fell by almost 1 million to 12.6 million for the week ended on September 5. (Because the universe wants to make life easier for investors, the two unemployment sequences are off by a week.) Economists had expected continuing claims to come in higher at 13 million. But a couple of items make it hard to figure out what the trend, if any, in the numbers might be.

Adding Illumina to Jubak Picks on today’s pullback

Shares of Illumina (ILMN) dropped 8.44% today, September 16, on reports by both Reuters and Bloomberg that the genetic sequencing marketing leader is in talks to acquire Grail, a still private startup focused on blood tests for the early detection of cancer. I think it is the potential purchase price--$8 billion--that has stuck in investors' craw today. The last valuation of Grail in its previous round of private funding was $6 billion. Grail had filed this month for an initial public offering this month. And...

Will Growth Stocks, Like Tesla, Soon Make Value Stocks Look Great?

Tesla’s electric cars are delighting people with their range, speed and style. But there’s something about the car manufacturer that few people know. Tesla doesn’t make money yet.

Yes, the stock’s growth has been extraordinary. If you invested $10,000 in Tesla’s stock in 2011, it would have grown to almost $1 million by August 31, 2020. That’s a compound annual return of 59.92 percent.

But since 2009, the electric icon has been losing money every year.

Color of Money Live

Post columnist Michelle Singletary offers her advice and answers your questions.

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