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Money

Initial claims for unemployment climb again

The number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment in regular state unemployment programs climbed by 30,000 in the week ended November 21, the Labor Department reported today, November 25. For the week initial claims in state programs rose to a seasonally adjusted 778,000. Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected 730,000 new claims for the week. This is the second straight week for an increase in new claims for unemployment and adds to other data showing the U.S. economy is slowing

Dow closes above 30,000 for first time ever

Is this as good as it gets? That's an important question today as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closes up 1.54% to 30,045.84, the first close above 30,000 ever. Other indexes were just as strong. The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 1.62% by the close. The NASDAQ Composite was up 1.31% and the NASDAQ 100 was ahead 1.46% at the end of the session. The Russell 2000 small cap index ended the day ahead 1.78%. It's not hard to see why stocks and investors are so ebullient: There's just so much good news.

Nevada puts new coronavirus restrictions on Las Vegas casinos–but so far MGM Resorts stock gains

Saying on Sunday that the coronavirus surge in Nevada is running at wildfire levels, Governor Steve Sislak announced new restrictions to start on Tuesday and that will run for three weeks. The new rules will require casinos, amusement and theme parks, arcades, bars, and restaurants to reduce their capacity to 25% from the current 50%. What I think is most interesting to investors, though, is the reaction of stocks with Las Vegas exposure to the news.

The returns for 2018 and 2019 for my Dividend Portfolio show the challenge facing dividend income investors during this period of extremely low interest rates.

In 2018 my Dividend Portfolio showed a yield on 3.60%. That produced $6,483 in dividend income that year. (In this portfolio I put an equal $10,000 into each position and rebalance each year.) The goal of this portfolio is to beat the yield on the 10-year Treasury. On January 1, 2018 the yield on the 10-year Treasury was 2.58%. In 2019 my Dividend Portfolio showed a yield of 4.90%. I held fewer stocks in that portfolio that year but I still managed to produce $6,365 in dividend income that year. On January 1, 2019, the yield on the 10-year Treasury was 2.71%. But as THEY always tell us, there's no free lunch in the financial markets.

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