Posts Tagged ‘Labor Market’

# Ping-Pong Seasonal Madness In Weekly Jobs Claims; How to Predict Whether the 4-Week Moving Average Will Rise or Fall

Courtesy of Mish

Weekly unemployment claims have been all over the map recently. Here are the seasonally-adjusted Weekly Unemployment Claims totals for the last 5 weeks.

Jan 27, 454,000
Jan 20, 403,000
Jan 13, 447,000
Jan 06, 411,000
Dec 30, 388,000

The first three numbers above are from the current report. I calculated the January 6, number. The December 30 number is from the archives.

The reported seasonally-adjusted number on January 6 reporting was 409,000. It was revised up but no one saw that revision.

The reason no one can easily spot revisions is the weekly report only gives the latest 3 weeks. I calculated January 6th number from the 4-week moving average, now reported as 428,750.

A similar calculation looking at the January 20 Weekly Claims Report shows that December 30, was revised up from 388,000 to 391,000. These are small revisions but even large ones would be hard to spot if you do did not do the math or go to the archives.

Computing the Missing Number and Hidden Revisions

The 4-week moving average is constructed from the current 4 weeks. However the report only shows 3 weeks. To compute the week not shown, take the 4-week moving average (SA) and multiply by 4. Subtract the last three weeks shown on the report. What remains is the hidden 4th week used to compute the 4-week moving average.

Moreover, the difference between that number and was was originally reported for that number is a hidden revision.

Gaming the 4-Week Moving Average

If you want to pace a bet on whether the 4-week moving average will rise or fall, you need to know the number to beat and how to calculate it.

The number to beat is the missing number (as described above), about to roll off. In this case, 411,000.

Assuming no revisions, a number higher than 411,000 will cause next week’s 4-week moving average to rise. A number below 411,000 will cause next week’s 4-week moving average to drop.

My guess is the 4-week moving average will rise next week and fall the following week when the January 13 of 447,000 rolls off the report.

Clearly, if you are attempting to predict such numbers, it is critical to look at the number about to roll off.

What’s With The Ping-Pong?

Revisions and hidden numbers aside, inquiring minds are asking about the ping-pong.…

# WELCOME TO RICHARD FISHER’S “DARKEST MOMENTS”

### WELCOME TO RICHARD FISHER’S “DARKEST MOMENTS”

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

I wish I could say that I am surprised that Ben Bernanke’s policies are failing, but quite frankly nothing this Fed does ceases to amaze me any longer.  His latest folly of QE2 is having profound effects already and it hasn’t even started yet!  Unfortunately, it is having its impacts in all the wrong places.  The other day, Richard Fisher remarked:

“In my darkest moments, I have begun to wonder if the monetary accommodation we have already engineered might even be working in the wrong places.”

Welcome to your darkest moments Mr. Fisher. The one thing we can positively confirm about QE2 is that it has not created one single job. But what has it done?  It has caused commodities and input prices to skyrocket in recent months.  Reference these 10 week moves that have resulted in the Fed already causing “mini bubbles” in various markets:

• Cotton +48%
• Sugar +48%
• Soybeans +20%
• Rice +27%
• Coffee +18%
• Oats +22%
• Copper +17%

Of course, these are all inputs costs for the corporations that have desperately cut costs to try to maintain their margins.   With very weak end demand the likelihood that these costs will be passed along to the consumer is extremely low.  What does this mean?  It means the Fed is unintentionally hurting corporate margins.  And that means the Fed is unintentionally hurting the likelihood of a recovery in the labor market.

# An Avoidable Depression

### An Avoidable Depression

Courtesy of MIKE WHITNEY at CounterPunch

The economy has gone from bad to worse. On Friday the Commerce Department reported that GDP had slipped from 3.7% to 2.4% in one quarter. Now that depleted stockpiles have been rebuilt and fiscal stimulus is running out, activity will continue to sputter increasing the likelihood of a double dip recession. Consumer credit and spending have taken a sharp downturn and data released on Tuesday show that the personal savings rate has soared to 6.4%. Mushrooming savings indicate that household deleveraging is ongoing which will reduce spending and further exacerbate the second-half slowdown. The jobs situation is equally grim; 8 million jobs have been lost since the beginning of the recession, but policymakers on Capital Hill and at the Fed refuse to initiate government programs or provide funding that will put the country back to work. Long-term "structural" unemployment is here to stay.

The stock market has continued its highwire act due to corporate earnings reports that surprised to the upside. 75% of S&P companies beat analysts estimates which helped send shares higher on low volume. Corporate profits increased but revenues fell; companies laid off workers and trimmed expenses to fatten the bottom line. Profitability has been maintained even though the overall size of the pie has shrunk. Stocks rallied on what is essentially bad news.

This is from ABC News:

"Consumer confidence matched its low for the year this week, with the ABC News Consumer Comfort Index extending a steep 9-point, six-week drop from what had been its 2010 high….The weekly index, based on Americans’ views of the national economy, the buying climate and their personal finances, stands at -50 on its scale of +100 to -100, just 4 points from its lowest on record in nearly 25 years of weekly polls…It’s in effect the death zone for consumer sentiment."

Consumer confidence has plunged due to persistent high unemployment, flat-lining personal incomes, and falling home prices. Ordinary working people do not care about the budget deficits; that’s a myth propagated by the right wing think tanks. They care about jobs, wages, and providing for their families. Congress’s unwillingness to address the problems that face the middle class has led to an erosion of confidence in government. This is from the Wall Street Journal:

"The lackluster job market continued to weigh on confidence. The share of

# JOBS REPORT: NOT A PRETTY PICTURE

### JOBS REPORT: NOT A PRETTY PICTURE

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

It’s becoming more and more clear that the government has failed in its efforts to create a sustainable private sector recovery.  The monetarist bank bailout has failed to create the economic recovery that Ben & Co. said it would generate.  This morning’s job’s data is just one more piece of evidence that shows the private sector remains weak at best.  We’re now almost two years since the peak in the credit crisis and the greatest government intervention in US history and we can’t even generate 100K+ jobs at the private sector level per month.  Via the AP:

“Private employers added new workers at a weak pace for the third straight month, making it more likely economic growth will slow in the coming months.The Labor Department says companies added a net total of 71,000 jobs in July, far below the roughly 200,000 needed each month to reduce the unemployment rate. The jobless rate was unchanged at 9.5 percent.

Overall, the economy lost a net total of 131,000 jobs last month, as 143,000 temporary census jobs ended.

The department also says businesses hired fewer workers in June than it previously estimated. July’s private sector job gains were revised down to 31,000 from 83,000. May was revised up slightly to show 51,000 net new jobs, from 33,000.”

It would be unwise to overreact to this news, but it’s certainly disheartening for those who are looking for a job or those who are looking for an economic recovery to actually materialize.  The duration of this recession in the labor market is truly depressing.

(image via chart of the day

# Trillions for Wall Street

### Trillions for Wall Street

Courtesy of MIKE WHITNEY writing at CounterPunch

On Tuesday, the 30-year fixed rate for mortgages plunged to an all-time low of 4.56 per cent. Rates are falling because investors are still  moving into risk-free liquid assets, like Treasuries. It’s a sign of panic and the Fed’s lame policy response has done nothing to sooth the public’s fears. The flight-to-safety continues a full two years after Lehman Bros blew up.

Housing demand has fallen off a cliff in spite of the historic low rates. Purchases of new and existing homes are roughly 25 per cent of what they were at peak in 2006. Case/Schiller reported on Monday that June new homes sales were the "worst on record", but the media twisted the story to create the impression that sales were actually improving! Here are a few of Monday’s misleading headlines: "New Home Sales Bounce Back in June"--Los Angeles Times. "Builders Lifted by June New-home Sales", Marketwatch. "New Home Sales Rebound 24 per cent", CNN. "June Sales of New Homes Climb more than Forecast", Bloomberg.

The media’s lies are only adding to the sense of uncertainty. When uncertainty grows, long-term expectations change and investment nosedives. Lying has an adverse effect on consumer confidence and, thus, on demand. This is from Bloomberg:

The Conference Board’s confidence index dropped to a 5-month low of 50.4 from 54.3 in June. According to Bloomberg News:

"Sentiment may be slow to improve until companies start adding to payrolls at a faster rate, and the Federal Reserve projects unemployment will take time to decline. Today’s figures showed income expectations at their lowest point in more than a year, posing a risk for consumer spending that accounts for 70 per cent of the economy.

“Consumers’ faith in the economic recovery is failing,” said guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia, whose forecast of 50.3 for the confidence index was the closest among economists surveyed by Bloomberg. “The job market is slow and volatile, and it’ll be 2013 before we see any semblance of normality in the labor market." (Bloomberg)

Confidence is falling because unemployment is soaring, because the media is lying, and because the Fed’s monetary policy has failed. Notice that Bloomberg does not mention consumer worries over "curbing the deficits". In truth, the public has only a passing interest in the large…

# College Grads about to Flood Labor Market; Class of 2009 Still Without Jobs in Deep Trouble

### College Grads about to Flood Labor Market; Class of 2009 Still Without Jobs in Deep Trouble

Courtesy of Mish

The 2009 college graduates still without a job are in deep trouble as a wave of 2010 grads is on the way. Please consider College Grads Flood U.S. Labor Market With Diminished Prospects

Ten months after graduating from Ohio State University with a civil-engineering degree and three internships, Matt Grant finally has a job — as a banquet waiter at a Clarion Inn near Akron, Ohio.

“It’s discouraging right now,” said the 24-year-old, who sent out more than 100 applications for engineering positions. “It’s getting closer to the Class of 2010, their graduation date. I’m starting to worry more.”

Schools from Grant’s alma mater to Harvard University will soon begin sending a wave of more than 1.6 million men and women with bachelor’s degrees into a labor market with a 9.9 percent jobless rate, according to the Education and Labor departments. While the economy is improving, unemployment is near a 26-year high, rising last month from 9.7 percent in January-March as more Americans entered the workforce.

The scramble for jobs may depress earnings of new and recent college graduates for years to come and handicap their future career opportunities, according to Lisa Kahn, an assistant professor of economics at Yale University’s School of Management in New Haven, Connecticut. It also might hurt Democrats in the November Congressional elections, as the young voters who helped propel the party to power in 2008 grow disenchanted with their economic prospects.

“More so in the last year to 18 months than at any time, we have seen applicants from prior graduating classes looking for the kind of entry-level jobs we’re recruiting for,” said Dan Black, director of campus recruiting for Ernst & Young LLP, a professional-services firm headquartered in New York. “There are a lot more cohorts competing with each other: ‘09 with ‘10, probably ‘10 with ‘11.”

Unemployment among people under 25 years old was 19.6 percent in April, the highest level since the Labor Department began tracking the data in 1948. Their economic travails may haunt Democrats in the November midterm elections. The youthful voters who helped propel the party to victory in the 2006 Congressional elections and gave the 2008 Obama campaign much of its vibrancy are showing signs of waning enthusiasm.

Democrats held a 62 percent to 30

### ValueWalk

#### Contrarian Signals (Or Why Romania May Be the World's Best Performing Market This Year)

By Michael McGaughy. Originally published at ValueWalk.

In my research and investing I stress three things: people, structure and value.  I look for companies that are controlled and managed by quality people, have corporate structures that align minority and majority shareholder interests and trade at valuations that are below fair value if not outright cheap.  This post is mostly about valuation and how bankers and financial experts take away the punch bowl just when an investment becomes attractive. Nedd3_89 / Pixabay

I’ve written before how doing the opposite of what the financial institutions are doing and recommend (see here). This post is in the same vein .

T...

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### Phil's Favorites

#### Monthly Macro Video Mish with Gordon Long

Courtesy of Mish.

Roughly every month, but on no particular day or date schedule, I get together with Gordon Long to discuss the global macro picture. This month’s spotlight is on Europe: target2, elections, and Turkey but with a mix of discussion regarding the US and Australia.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Original article here.

...

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### Zero Hedge

#### Pepe Escobar: Daesh, Creature Of The West

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored Op-Ed by Pepe Escobar via SputnikNews.com,

James Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Emerging Threats at NATO – now that’s a lovely title – recently gave a talk at a private club in London on the Islamic State/Daesh. Shea, as many will remember, made his name as NATO’s spokesman during the NATO war on Yugoslavia in 1999.

After his talk Shea engaged in a debate with a source I very much treasure. The source later gave me the lowdown.

According to Sau...

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### Members' Corner

#### More Natterings

Courtesy of The Nattering Naybob

A Quick \$20 Trick?

Summary

Discussion, critique and analysis of the potential impacts on equity, bond, commodity, capital and asset markets regarding the following:

• Last time out, Sinbad The Sailor, QuickLogic.
• GlobalFoundries, Jha, Smartron and cricket.
• Quick money, fungible, demographics, QUIK focus.

Last Time Out

Monetary policy is just one form of policy that effects capital,...

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### Market News

#### News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

Financial Markets and Economy

Top Story: On health reform, Donald Trump followed Republican leaders into a ditch (Andrew Prokop, Vox)

The cancellation of the planned House vote on the American Health Care Act Friday is a devastating defeat for President Trump, marking the first major legislative setback of his administration.

Yet in some ways, it might also come as a relief to him — because the Republican health bill, crafted mainl...

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### Kimble Charting Solutions

#### Fund flows of this size could mark a top, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

A year ago flows into ETFs were extremely low, actually the lowest in years, as many stock market indices were testing rising support off the 2009 lows. The crowd wasn’t adding money to ETFs as lows were taking place. In hindsight, this was a mistake by the majority. Below I look at ETF flows over the past few years with an inset chart of the S&P 500.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

Nearly three months into this year, fund flows have surpassed mone...

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### Insider Scoop

#### Spruce Point Stands By Short-Sale Thesis Against PTC, Urges Stakeholders To Exercise Caution

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related Watch These 7 Huge Put Purchases In Friday Trade Benzinga's Top Upgrades, Downgrades For March 1, 2017 ...

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

### Chart School

#### Indecision Strikes

Courtesy of Declan.

It was no real surprise to see indices slow down in their recovery. Across the board doji mark a balance between buyers and sellers. The one index which bucked the trend a little was the Russell 2000. It staged a modest recovery which brought it back to former support turned resistance. However, technicals remain firmly bearish, and will stay this way even if there are additional gains.

The S&P closed on light volume with a doji below resistance. The narrow intraday trading range offers a low risk opportunity with a break and ...

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#### Swing trading portfolio - week of March 20th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options.

### Digital Currencies

#### Bitcoin Tumbles Below Gold As China Tightens Regulations

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Having rebounded rapidly from the ETF-decision disappointment, Bitcoin suffered another major setback overnight as Chinese regulators are circulating new guidelines that, if enacted, would require exchanges to verify the identity of clients and adhere to banking regulations.

A New York startup called Chainalysis estimated that roughly \$2 billion of bitcoin moved out of China in 2016.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, the move to regulate bitcoin exchanges brings assurance that Chinese authorities will tolerate some level of trading, after months of uncertainty. A draft of the guidelines also indicates th...

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### Mapping The Market

#### Congress begins rolling back Obama's broadband privacy rules

Courtesy of Jean Luc

I am trying to remember who on this board said that people wanted to Trump because they want their freedom back. Well….

Congress begins rolling back Obama's broadband privacy rules

ISPs will soon be able to sell your most private data without your consent.

As expected, Republicans in Congress have begun the process of rolling back the FCC's broadband privacy rules which prevent excessive surveillance. Arizona Republican Jeff Flake introduced a resolution to scrub the rules, using Congress' powers to invalidate recently-approved federal regulations. Reuters reports that the move has broad support, with 34 other names throwing their weight behind the res...

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### Promotions

#### Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

Here's a free ebook for you to check out!

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

...

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### Biotech

#### The Medicines Company: Insider Buying

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

I'm seeing huge insider buying in the biotech company The Medicines Company (MDCO). The price has already moved up around 7%, but these buys are significant, in the millions of dollars range. ~ Ilene

Insider transaction table and buying vs. selling graphic above from insidercow.com.

Chart below from Yahoo.com

...

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#### Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...