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Jared Hunt column: Market doesn't care much about economy

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Two months ago in this column, I wrote about the toll the October government shutdown and budget brinksmanship in Washington had taken on the economy.

That column also featured a quote from analysts at IHS Global Insight who said another shutdown and budget stalemate early next year could finally reverse the nation's already fragile economic recovery.

"Another debt ceiling showdown in January could be the straw that breaks the camel's back," IHS analysts said.

Reading only that, one might have thought Wall Street traders would have rejoiced with stock-buying fervor when markets opened Wednesday morning.

Nope. The Dow closed down nearly 130 points.

Why? It's because the market's not caring so much about the economy. Instead, traders are worried about being cut off of their $85 billion monthly supply of easy money courtesy of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing policy.

"This deal is great, it's a positive, but also a negative because it could prompt the Fed to taper (quantitative easing) sooner," Jeffrey Kleintop, chief market strategist at LPL Financial, told Bloomberg Wednesday.

Alexander Friedman, chief investment officer at UBS AG's wealth-management unit, told the network that while the economy is likely to improve in 2014, without QE, "It's probably not going to be the same sugar high we've seen for the last five years."

Sounds like Wall Street needs a fix.

Perhaps President Barack Obama should reconsider nominating Janet Yellen for the Fed and nominate Walter White instead?


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    The Clay Center announced this week that fitness guru and "The Biggest Loser" star Jillian Michaels will come to Charleston in March.

    However, you might not have to wait that long to see her hanging around the Capital city.

    Charleston was one of 11 cities picked by The Humane Society of the United States for a billboard advertising campaign featuring the Emmy-nominated television star.

    Michaels, along with her rescued dogs Harley, Richard and Seven, is appearing in the campaign to encourage consumers to avoid supporting puppy mills this holiday season.

    The ad says most commercial pet stores sell puppy mill dogs. It urges consumers to adopt new pets this holiday season from animal shelters or rescue groups.

    The Humane Society said the mills not only contribute to pet overpopulation, but are often "filth- and disease-ridden breeding factories where animals are treated inhumanely."

    "When I first learned about puppy mills, I was horrified and I knew that I needed to do something," Michaels said in a press release. "Dogs shouldn't be constantly impregnated, confined and forced to live in their own excrement."

    The society in 2012 had ranked West Virginia 38th among states with regard to the strength of its animal protection laws. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed a bill earlier this year designed to crack down on puppy mills; it went into effect July 1.

    In addition to Charleston, the billboards will also be placed in Huntington and Fairmont, as well as cities in Florida, Tennessee and Texas.


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