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Jobs Data Slightly Soft

Today we had 1st time unemployment claims come in at 228,000 versus a forecast of 200,000 and last weeks number of 246,000 – I guess that is slightly softer than expectations, but seems quite a long way from where it will need to go to have the Fed back off of interest rates (lower them). If I were a guessing person I would guess that the Fed will ‘pause’ at the next meeting and then step back and watch the data–BUT that is what I guess knowing what we know today–and next week we have the CPI and PPI data so who really knows–everyone is just a ‘guesser’.

This morning I added another Good til Cancelled buy order to my ever growing list of outstanding orders. This time I entered an order for the Apollo Asset Management 6.375% perpetual (AAM-A) for a buy price of $21.50–which would translate into a current yield of 7.4%–pretty decent for a investment grade issue. I already had a current very modest position in this issue so this would be additive.

So I think it has been clear that thus far I have been adding to current positions–all of them were much larger positions until the end of January when I trimmed everything back locking in some capital gains and deploying substantial funds into CDs and treasury bills. Through January I had maybe 30-35 preferreds and baby bonds–I was very happy with my portfolio make-up so I continue to simply add at great prices when (if) they present themselves.

Fed yakker Bullard was speaking at 9 a.m. (central) today and I didn’t see any wild market swings so I guess he wasn’t too bombastic in his appearance. The rest of the day should be free from big news.

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