Jan 5, 2017

More jobs, the bitcoin rollercoaster and moribund Macy's: 3 things to know in business today

  1. The great American job machine continues to chug along: The number of jobless workers filing for new unemployment claims fell to a seasonally-adjusted rate of just 235,000, well below economists' expectations of 260,000, an indication that the job market remains strong. Look for a solid jobs reports tomorrow in light of strong data this week.
  2. Macy's Department Stores is shutting down almost 70 stores and cutting 10,000 jobs following a disappointing holiday season. Though the American economy may be on the rebound, the best days of retailers like Macy's are well behind them.. While Macy's has performed better than rivals Sears and J,C. Penney, it is not immune to the twin killers of e-commerce and the hollowing out of the American middle class.
  3. Bitcoin rose to a nearly all-time high on Wednesday of $1153.02 before crashing nearly 30%. The rapid rise in recent months was seen as evidence of investors in China attempting to evade their countries capital controls. Despite Chinese regulations against moving wealth out of the country, more than $750 billion fled last year, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. The subsequent crash shows that many investors are in the currency for purely speculative reasons.

What to watch today: Everybody on CNBC is still breathlessly awaiting Dow 20,000.

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