Good day to be Twitter founder: #FourBillionBucks
Recapping the day's news and newsmakers through the lens of CNBC.
Twitter shares bolted out of its IPO starting gate, closing up 73 percent from the $26 offer price and just under $45. The social networking service's opening pop lifted the company's value to above $31 billion, about the size of General Mills and bigger than two out of three S&P 500 firms, though Twitter has yet to turn a profit. Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey, along with CEO Dick Costolo, saw their combined value in the firm skyrocket to about $4 billion.
"Although all of them probably would say they don't look at their stock wealth while they're trying to change the world 140 characters at a time, I'd guarantee they looked this morning."—CNBC's Robert Frank
Endangered species: The purple squirrel
Some HR folks have adopted the term "purple squirrel" to describe the perfect employee—skilled, cheap and willing to take a temp job if necessary. In recent years, many employers have felt that high unemployment allowed them to hold out for purple squirrels. But that's starting to change. A recent survey showed 39 percent of employers reporting trouble finding skilled job candidates, a problem that's worst in small, innovative firms. Fewer and fewer young workers are more skilled than older ones in the U.S., too, especially in literacy and math. A CareerBuilder survey released today showed 80 percent of managers are at least somewhat concerned about the skills gap.
"Some employers have become more willing to accept that the purple squirrel may not exist. If they want the perfect candidate, they may need to do some training—either in-house or in partnership—and offer a good salary, full-time status and benefits."—CNBC's Allison Linn
It seems like a glacial pace, but the economy is improving. The Commerce Department said today that GDP grew at a 2.8 percent annual pace in the third quarter, up from 2.5 percent in the second quarter and well above analysts' forecasts for a mere 2 percent. Unfortunately, a look inside the numbers was not so pleasing, as rebuilding of inventories was an unusually large factor. Without that, the pace would have been just 2 percent. Consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of economic activity, grew at a 1.5 percent pace, the lowest since the second quarter of 2011.
"The headline number's definitely hot, the consumption number is not."—CNBC's Rick Santelli
Unemployed workers hoping to earn a little with part-time holiday work may have a rude awakening. Because retailers are starting the holiday push earlier and earlier, much of that hiring has already taken place. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says retailers hired 482,000 workers between March and August, a 43 percent increase from last year.
"The key takeaway from all of this ... is the unemployed are giving up hope. There are over 90 million Americans who are not even participating in the labor force. They are not even looking for a job."—Todd M. Schoenberger, founder of LandColt Capital LP
Good JC Penney, bad JC Penney
J.C. Penney shares were up after the 111-year-old retailer finally offered some good news, reporting today that same-store sales had racked up their first gain in over two years during the third quarter. The firm credited deep discounts and a decision to return to providing the kinds of goods customers had liked in the past. The troubled retailer had suffered a 25 percent sales drop in an attempt to go upmarket by changing brands and eschewing sales and use of coupons. Analysts warn that cost cutting and promotion are tough on profits.
"J.C. Penney is basically two companies: 500 remodeled stores and 500 un-remodeled stores (aka "zombie stores"), so consumers are seeing two different and confusing views of the brand. For J.C. Penney to survive, it must get out of some really bad stores where it no longer makes sense to exist."— Brian Sozzi, CEO and chief equities strategist of Belus Capital Advisors
—By Jeff Brown, Special to CNBC.com