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.…
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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.


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An Avoidable Depression

An Avoidable Depression

Great DepressionCourtesy 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


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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.

20100702 JOBS REPORT: NOT A PRETTY PICTURE

(image via chart of the day


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Trillions for Wall Street

Trillions for Wall Street

Courtesy of MIKE WHITNEY writing at CounterPunch

High angle view of a stack of Indian banknotes of different denominations near a flame Square

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…
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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


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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Dec 09, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

Bears are certainly showing the type of strength we haven’t seen in a long time.   A week ago at this time futures were surging on news of a “truce” for 90 days between China and the U.S. in their trade spat.  But the charts were still not saying lovely things despite a major rally the week prior.   And by Tuesday, darkness had descended back on the indexes, with another gut punch Friday.    A lot of emphasis was put on a long term Treasury yield dropping below a shorter term Treasury.

On Monday, the yield on five year government debt slid below the yield on three year debt, a phenomenon which has p...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Monday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • The Labor Department's JOLTS report for October is schedule for release at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Treasury is set to auction 3-and 6-month bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.
  • The TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index for November will be released at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Posted-In: Economic DataNews Economics Pre-Market Outlook Markets

...

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Zero Hedge

Dollar Slides After Goldman Capitulates, Pulls March Rate Hike Forecast

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

For months, Goldman's optimistic take on the economy drew raised eyebrows across both the sell and buyside, and nowhere more so than the bank's forecast for 4 Fed rate hikes in 2019, a number that is even higher than the Fed's own dot plot forecast which anticipates 3 rate hikes next year, not to mention the market's own implied prediction of less than 1 rate hike in the coming year.

Well, on Sunday night Goldman capitulated and in a note titled "The Ides of March" published late on Sunday by Jan Hatzius, the banks capitulated on its o...



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Phil's Favorites

Saudi Arabia is allying with Russia to shore up oil prices as OPEC's power wanes

 

Saudi Arabia is allying with Russia to shore up oil prices as OPEC's power wanes

Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih. AP Photo/Ronald Zak

Courtesy of Gregory Brew, Southern Methodist University

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries likes to look united.

That’s evident when OPEC leaders meet in Vienna at the end of each year to decide how much oil its members will aim t...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Small caps could fall 20% from here, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

This chart looks at the Russell 2000 over the past 30-years, where it has spent the majority of that time, inside of rising channel (A).

This chart reflects that the long-term trend in small caps remains higher. Weakness this year has it testing rising support tied to the 2009 lows at (1).

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am- If the Russell breaks below support at (1), it could work its way over time to channel support at (2), which is currently around 20% below current prices.

Very important support test in play ...



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Digital Currencies

Cryptogeddon Continues - Bitcoin Plunges To 2018 Lows Amid 'Cash' Chaos

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Crypto markets have accelerated their losses again overnight with Bitcoin crashing to new 2018 lows, Ethereum back into double-digits, and Bitcoin Cash utterly devastated as lawsuits fly.

Once again a sea of red across the crypto space...

Source

Bitcoin Cash is down 40% this week alone...

...



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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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Biotech

World's first gene-edited babies? Premature, dangerous and irresponsible

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

 

World's first gene-edited babies? Premature, dangerous and irresponsible

Vchal/Shutterstock

By Joyce Harper, UCL

A scientist in China claims to have produced the world’s first genome-edited babies by altering their DNA to increase their resistance to HIV. Aside from the lack of verifiable evidence for this non peer-revie...



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Members' Corner

Cheri Jacobus on Politics with PSW

 

Cheri Jacobus is a widely known political consultant, pundit, writer and outspoken former Republican and frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, CBS.com, CNBC and C-Span. Cheri shared her thoughts about the current political environment with us in our August interview, and now we’re following up. 

Ilene: Is there a take-home message from election results of 2018?

Cheri: Yes. No political party can survive when it appeals to only one demographic. The GOP has ignored all of the lessons of recent elections that showed they needed to appeal to African-Americans, Latinos, and women. 

Ilene: Do you feel the Democrats ...



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ValueWalk

Vilas Fund Up 55% In Q3; 3Q18 Letter: A Bull Market In Bearish Forecasts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The Vilas Fund, LP letter for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018; titled, “A Bull Market in Bearish Forecasts.”

Ever since the financial crisis, there has been a huge fascination with predictions of the next “big crash” right around the next corner. Whether it is Greece, Italy, Chinese debt, the “overvalued” stock market, the Shiller Ratio, Puerto Rico, underfunded pensions in Illinois and New Jersey, the Fed (both for QE a few years ago and now for removing QE), rising interest rates, Federal budget deficits, peaking profit margins, etc...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 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. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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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.

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About Phil:

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...

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