For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 21, 2009 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Kroger (KR), Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC), Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE).

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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

New Jobless Claims Disappoint

According to the National Unemployment Law project, 500,000 people will exhaust their extended benefits by the end of September, and 1.5 million will do so by the end of the year. With the extensions, these folks have been out of work for well over a year at this point. That means they have probably already run through all their savings and borrowed against or drained what ever 401K and IRA plans they have. They have probably also maxed out their credit cards. They are left with almost no financial resources.

Soon they will be left with no (legal) income at all. Thus, they will have to rely on food banks and soup kitchens rather than going to Kroger (KR) to get food. Food banks are already overwhelmed and are running low on supplies. The country needs a food bank bailout as much as it needed a bailout of Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC).

If these people are homeowners, they will be foreclosed upon, or will simply stop mailing in the mortgage check and wait for the sheriff to show up at the door. This will severely hurt the holders of mortgage-backed securities and the banks. Ultimately it will hurt the taxpayers, since many of these mortgages are backed by Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE), and we the taxpayers own 80% of both of them, as well as having extended them $200 billion in credit. Poverty, already a major problem in this country, is going to be a much bigger issue going forward than it has been in the past.

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