TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Steve Chiotakis: All right Juli Niemann, analyst with Smith, Moore & Co. joins us live now from St. Louis. Good morning Juli.
Juli Niemann: Good morning.
Chiotakis: So new jobless claims up again -- 631,000 last week. Wall Street not expecting that and today we hear Chrysler will essentially fire all these dealers, right? About 800 of them. So more jobs gone there. Will this ease up when the carmakers are restructured and the layoff hole sort of gets plugged?
Niemann: No unfortunately it's going to be more small business because that's who's in the spiral right now. We know about the automotive. That's the big thing. But what we saw last week, we had only 601,000 filing for unemployment and that was because the government got out there and started hiring people for the census. New job formation is the big problem. You know, there is some, but there is not enough to cover the massive number of people who are being laid off and who are filing. So I think we have much further to go on unemployment.
Chiotakis: All right, well Walmart this morning said its first quarter was flat, Juli. But that met expectations on Wall Street. Wall Street seems to like that. Hence the numbers being up. We heard today that electronics giants Sony and Sanyo lost a billion each this fiscal year. I thought spring was thawing time, Juli, that people would start to shop again?
Niemann: Well they are shopping, but only for necessities. You're not buying any jewelry or flat-screen TVs. And that's why you're seeing all those postpone-able things basically suffer. Walmart sells all the necessities and that's where everybody's still shopping -- that and the dollar store -- to get the best bang for the buck here. So that's where you're going to see any kind of uptick in sales is going to be where the necessities are. People are still not ready to part with anything and get out there and feel free to spend again, and they won't until they see jobs pick up.
Chiotakis: Indeed. All right, Juli Niemann. Analyst with Smith Moore & Co. in St. Louis. Thanks.
Niemann: You bet.
Chiotakis: Appreciate it.