What's Important in the Financial World (12/4/2012)

Coffee spilledSpain's Unemployed Near 5 Million

Spain's unemployment reached a the staggering level of 4,907,817 last month, according to the government's labor arm. That almost certainly means that the 25% unemployment the nation announced recently will go higher. The Ministry reported (via Google Translate):

By sector of origin of unemployed persons, 85% of the increase in unemployment in November occurs in workers from the services sector (63,166 people, or 2.12%), followed by workers from agriculture, (5,777 people, 3.12%) and industry (increase of 4,670, 0.87%).

Meanwhile, unemployment among construction workers from falls in 2271 people (0.30%). The group of people with no previous job increases in 2954, representing a growth of 0.78%.

No sector improved. If there is any argument that austerity will not work, it is in Spain's joblessness. Further cuts to its budget will rob it of any chance to create stimulus packages that might improve the situation, even if slightly.

Delta Eyes Virgin's Atlantic Routes

More reasons for Delta Air Line Inc.'s (NYSE: DAL) interest in an investment in Virgin Atlantic emerged today. The huge U.S. carrier finds itself without good market share in routes across the Atlantic. Virgin's passenger base is small, however. That begs the question of how little the investment might be worth. According to Bloomberg:

North Atlantic flights generate roughly a quarter of all global revenue from first- and business-class fares, more than twice as much as the second-place Pacific routes, according to the International Air Transport Association. Heathrow is closer to London than Delta's previous base at Gatwick airport, which U.S. airlines have shunned since flight rules eased in 2008.

"Delta doesn't have that many flights to Heathrow, and Virgin would get more access" to airports in New York and Los Angeles via Delta, said Jeff Straebler, an analyst with John Hancock Financial Services in Boston. "In terms of having a presence at Heathrow, it's the only way for Delta."

The New York Times Continues to Shrink

The New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) continues to shrink, and eventually it may have a news staff that is not large enough to cover all of the subjects that the paper does now. That will leave management to decide which coverage can be abandoned and which is more essential. According to the New York Post:

"The economic environment has grown more difficult in the second half of the year and I must reduce costs in the newsroom," said Editor-in-Chief Jill Abramson in a memo announcing the cuts yesterday.

Abramson said the Newspaper Guild also asked that its newsroom, security and ad-makeup members also be offered a chance to take early retirement packages and the company is extending the offer to them as well.

Douglas A. McIntyre


Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Market Open Tagged: DAL, featured, NYT

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