Dow Plunges, Another 400,000 Jobless Claims, Income Down, Obama Blames Bush

What a horrible day to turn on the news. Good grief.

This morning we heard the news that we had yet another week with new jobless claims at 400,000 or above. They’ll probably revise this last one upward when nobody’s looking. How awful. That was just the beginning of the bad news.

The Dow plunged a whopping 500 points.

Stocks plunged sharply Thursday, with the Dow down more than 500 points, in the biggest selloff since May 2010. All three major averages tumbled into negative territory for the year as investors were rattled over an intensifying global economic slowdown and ahead of the widely-followed monthly unemployment report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 450 points, led by Alcoa … and BofA. The blue-chip index fell into “correction territory,” defined by a drop of 10 percent from its peak from its intraday high in May. The last time the Dow dropped more than 400 points in a single session was in Dec. 2008.

Oh dear. If all of that isn’t bad enough, there’s this!

U.S. incomes plummeted again in 2009, with total income down 15.2 percent in real terms since 2007, new tax data showed on Wednesday.

The data showed an alarming drop in the number of taxpayers reporting any earnings from a job — down by nearly 4.2 million from 2007 — meaning every 33rd household that had work in 2007 had no work in 2009.

Average income in 2009 fell to $54,283, down $3,516, or 6.1 percent in real terms compared with 2008, the first Internal Revenue Service analysis of 2009 tax returns showed. Compared with 2007, average income was down $8,588 or 13.7 percent.

Average income in 2009 was at its lowest level since 1997 when it was $54,265 in 2009 dollars, just $18 less than in 2009. The data come from annual Statistics of Income tables that were updated Wednesday.

Imagine the statistics for 2010! Yet Obama keeps blaming Bush. November 2012 can’t come fast enough.

Update: The Washington Post has more on the stock market plunge – fears of recession.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down for its ninth session out of 10, finishing the day down more than 500 points or 4.3 percent in the red; the Standard &Poor’s 500 fell 4.8 percent; and the Nasdaq tumbled 5.1 percent. All three indices experienced their biggest weekly drops since May 2010.

The Dow was down 10 percent from highs in May, erasing all gains for 2011.

“The undertone of this is just fear that we’re rolling off again into another recession,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist of Wells Capital Management.

I wonder what would have happened if the Democrats had agreed to some real spending and deficit cuts.

Update: The worst losing streak since Carter. ‘Nuff said.