business news in context, analysis with attitude

•  From Fox Business this morning:

"The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits remained historically high last week, indicating that employers are continuing to slash jobs as the coronavirus outbreak intensifies.

"The latest jobless claims figures from the Labor Department, which covers the week ended July 11, show that 1.3 million workers sought jobless aid last week, pushing the total number since the shutdown began to more than 51 million … It's the 17th week in a row that jobless claims came in above 1 million; before the pandemic, the record high was 695,000 set in 1982."

And from the Wall Street Journal:

"U.S. retail sales increased 7.5% in June as stores and restaurants reopened and consumers bought big-ticket items and resumed clothing purchases, but a recent rise in virus cases could again dampen spending.

"The Commerce Department on Thursday said the June increase in retail sales - a measure of purchases at stores, at restaurants and online - totaled $524.3 billion, up from $487.7 billion in May and nearly back to pre-pandemic levels. The total was driven by a pickup in sales at motor vehicle dealers, furniture, clothing and electronic stores.

"Spending on gasoline increased 15.3% from the prior month as commuters got back on the roads. Sales at bars and restaurants jumped 20% from May, while online spending decreased 2.4% last month and sales at grocery stores dropped 1.6%."

KC's View:

Me, I wouldn't get over-confident.  June was one thing, but July may be something else, and it remains to be seen what August and September will look like, depending on whether we actually are able to do what is necessary to get the pandemic under control.

Me, I'm with Bette Davis, from All About Eve: