April 15. 2009 2:00AM - Last modified: March 14. 2012 12:22PM

Stocks hold ground on Tax Day


The stock market posted marginal gains this morning, as protesters against higher taxes held "Tea Party" rallies in several cities throughout the nation on Tax Day.
The head of a group organizing a "Tea Party" rally at the Capitol in Madison is expecting 3,000 to 4,000 conservative activists to protest increased taxes and spending in Gov. Jim Doyle's state budget proposal.
Americans for Prosperity Wisconsin state director Mark Block said, "The message we want the Legislature and the governor to hear is 'enough is enough' and that we'd like them to tighten their belts just like every family in Wisconsin is doing right now."
Other rallies are planned in Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, Wausau, Superior, Eau Claire and Appleton.
Those scheduled to speak at the Madison rally today include Block, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Janesville), Republican Party of Wisconsin chairman Reince Priebus and Madison-based conservative radio host Vicki McKenna.
The "Tea Party" rallies have been promoted throughout the week by Fox News.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama today called for a fairer tax code that rewarded working Americans and noted that his administration recently enacted a tax cut to 95 percent of American families.
Obama cited new tax credits for first-time homebuyers and buyers of automobiles. He also enacted a new carryback of net operating losses for small businesses. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, small businesses can elect to carryback 2008 net operating losses (NOLs) for up to five years, as opposed to the previous two years. The longer carryback period gives small businesses that experienced losses in 2008 the ability to get immediate refunds of income taxes they paid in earlier years and is estimated to give back $3.4 billion to small businesses this year.
For ongoing coverage of today's rallies, visit WisPolitics.com, a media partner of BizTimes Milwaukee.
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development today reported that initial claims for unemployment insurance increased by 3,614 to a total of 27,318 for the week ending April 11. Last week, initial claims totaled 23,704. One year ago, initial claims amounted to 13,112.
Continued claims for unemployment insurance in Wisconsin decreased by 6,853 to a total of 186,112 for the week ending April 11. Last week, continued claims totaled 192,965. One year ago, continued claims amounted to 95,433.
On the stock market today, the top local gainers in the BizTimes Stock Index this morning were Weyco Group Inc. (up 47 cents to $25.83) and Johnson Controls Inc. (up 46 cents to $16.63). The largest local decliners this morning were Kohl's Corp. (down $1.06 to $43.34) and Koss Corp. (down 77 cents to $15.01).