Jobs numbers released this morning indicate that the US added 290,000 jobs in April, but the unemployment rate rose slightly to 9.9 percent as previously discouraged unemployed people began looking for work again. This marks the fourth consecutive month of positive job growth.
After a near disaster in the stock market on Thursday, with the Dow plummeting over 900 points before an afternoon rally, stock markets around the globe are down. A typing error is believed to have caused at least some of the panic when a trader typed billions instead of millions, triggering or adding momentum to the sell-off. Analysts point to the unstable bailout situation in Greece and the fragility of the global economic recovery as stressors. Fear of spreading instability and the potential for a so-called “double-dip” recession could continue to push investors out of the more risky stock markets and into safer investments.
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For the first time since 1974, the British face a hung Parliament after elections in which no party gained a majority of seats. The Washington Post is reporting that the power to form a coalition government rests with the Liberal Democratic Party. Statements from the Liberal Democratic Party indicate that they will likely give the conservative Tories the first shot at forming a coalition government rather than side with the more liberal Labor Party. As of this morning, Conservatives held 291 seats, Labor 251, the Liberal Democrats 52, and smaller parties 27 seats, according to semi-official counts and The Washington Post.
The Guardian UK is reporting that the instability in Greece and the uncertain outcome of the British elections are impacting the financial markets and putting more pressure on both the pound and the euro.