Monday Wake-Up Call (#OccupyWallStreet; Wage Declines; Immigration and more)

Driving the day – What you’re hearing: Police arrest over 700 protesters on Saturday afternoon as the Occupy Wall Street brigade attempted to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. What started as a small gathering grew after rumors spread that the band Radiohead would be appearing in support of the protests, and now has morphed into a nationally talked-about movement (though with an apparently broad set of goals) that was the lead story on most networks this morning. If the protest continues to draw in celebrity support, look for it to stick around – but with the federal government remote as ever, I wouldn’t expect anything major to come of it.

What you’re not hearing (Part I): This Friday will mark the tenth anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, which began on Oct. 7, 2001. There were weeks of wall-to-wall news coverage leading up to the 10th anniversary of 9/11, but it has been quiet as the anniversary of the country’s longest-running war approaches.

What you’re not hearing (Part II): On the news this morning (hat tip: Morning Joe) I heard a startling statistic: the casualty rate among innocent civilians in Mexico’s drug wars is five times that of the casualty rate of U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. I don’t know if that number is accurate, but what is undeniable is that no one is giving nearly enough thought to the crisis that is going on on our southern border. Excellent piece by the New York Times this morning chronicling the stories of illegal immigrants who are seeking only to escape the bloodshed (see the article here).

Stock Outlook: Nothing groundbreaking here, but look for stocks to decline at the opening bell with futures down following more setbacks in Europe. The latest: the Greek government has said that it will miss its deficit target for this year.

By the Numbers: -0.3% – as in, the decline in take-home pay among members of the workforce for the month of August (per U.S. Commerce Dept.) making August the third month since April that wages declined.


Chrysler posts strong Sept. results, with sales up 27 percent for the month (Bloomberg news). The sales numbers represented the company’s best Sept. report since 2007.

Crude oil prices continue to drop – but consumers still experiencing pain at the pump (Wall Street Journal). The 3rd quarter was the worst for crude prices since June of 2008.

Consumers love online coupon sites; merchants, not so much (New York Times). Why the online coupon craze may be short-lived.

Sports Blink: For anyone who didn’t get a chance to watch some football yesterday, do yourself a favor and watch the highlights today. Huge come-from-behind wins by three road teams, including the 49ers over Philly’s Dream Team in Philadelphia, the DETROIT LIONS (where did this come from?) over the Cowboys in Dallas, and the G-men over the Cardinals in Arizona. Yanks and Phils both lose in baseball, drawing their respective series’ even at one game apiece, while the Brewers beat the Diamondbacks to take a 2-0 series lead.


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