Continuing losses in December, the Standard & Poor's 500 index declined 4.96% and US diversified stock mutual funds lost 6.25% in January, according to Lipper data. Some experts are hoping for a recovery around midyear.
American Airlines has announced its intent to offer about 40 positions a month to its furloughed pilots, beginning in January, according to a company hotline announcement. The announcement was made at the same time that pilots began voting on a labor agreement.
Twenty-four states saw their joblessness rates drop in January, while 10 recorded increase, suggesting that the employment recovery continues in the U.S., according to the Labor Department. In January, Nevada recorded the highest unemployment rate among the states, at 14.2%, while North Dakota reported the lowest rate at 3.8%.
Retailers in the U.K. saw a 1.9% surge in sales in January, following a decline in consumer spending during the coldest December in 100 years. "It's a big rebound," said Howard Archer, an economist at IHS Global Insight. "But with rising inflation and low wage growth squeezing incomes and high unemployment and speculation of a rise in interest rates, I have serious concerns about consumer spending this year."