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Archive for the ‘Morning Briefing’ Category

Economy loses 701,000 jobs in March; April looks much worse

The U.S economy lost 701,000 jobs in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced this morning. The unemployment rate rose to 4.4% in March from 3.5%, a 50-year low, in February. The survey behind the numbers was completed by March 12 so it didn't capture the full carnage of job cuts in the last half […]

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Initial claims for unemployment soar to 6.65 million

I'm finding it hard to wrap my head around exactly how bad the economy is and how fast the collapse has been. Today's report of 6.65 million new claims for unemployment for the week ended March 28 exploded through the record number of new claims set just the prior week at 3.31 million. (The initial […]

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Sellers batten down the hatches today ahead of tomorrow’s report on new claims for unemployment

Not much mystery to today's selling. Investors and traders were trimming positions--or more--ahead of tomorrow's report on initial claims for unemployment. Last week brought a record 3.28 million new claims for unemployment as the coronavirus and "shelter in place" orders knee-capped the U.S. economy. State officials said last week that the totals would have been […]

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Saudis ramp up oil production

 The first tankers in what looks like a long fleet of tankers are loading now in Saudi Arabia on their way to Europe and the United States in April. The Saudi government looks to be making good on its announced increase in output to a record 12.3 million barrels a day in April from 9.7 […]

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Oil hits an 18-year low–worse to come as world runs out of storage

As of noon New York time, today March 30, U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell another 5.67% to $20.29 a barrel. International benchmark Brent dropped 9.83% to $22.45 a barrel. That's an 18-year low for oil. And worse is yet to come. The world has run out of storage and Russia and Saudi Arabia continue […]

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House passes $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue bill, but coronavirus cases continue to surge

The House of Representatives jumped one last procedural hurdle and sent the $2.2 trillion coronavirus bill to President Trump for his signature. Meanwhile... Italy reported 919 coronavirus deaths in one day, the largest single-day toll reported by any country. The country's national health institute warned that infections have not yet reached their peak and that […]

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Market shrugs off 3.28 million jump in new claims as $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue bill moves toward House vote tomorrow

Today Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the surge in Americans filing for unemployment benefits is “not relevant.” Mnuchin told CNBC, “The president is protecting those people.” For the week ended March 21, initial claims for unemployment soared to a record 3.28 million. Last week, the week that ended on March 14, initial claims for unemployment had […]

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Buy on the rumor, sell on the news in this bear market

As I write this at 1:20 p.m. New York time on Wednesday, March 25, the Senate is debating the $2 billion (or is it even more now?) coronavirus rescue bill. The consensus is that the chamber will vote and pass the bill sometime this afternoon and then send it to the House. Things get sticky […]

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Cover those shorts! S&P 500 up 9.38% but most heavily shorted stocks rocket ahead of the general market

Stocks are up Big Time today on speculation that the Senate will finally pass a $1.8 trillion (remember when it was just $1.2 trillion?) coronavirus rescue package. As of the close today, March 24, the Standard & Poor's 500 was up 9.38% to 2437.33, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average had climbed 11.37%. The NASDQ […]

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Senate fails to pass coronavirus rescue bill as procedural vote fails

I've been operating on the assumption for the last week of so that the Senate in particular and Congress in general would, of course, pass a coronavirus rescue bill. (I have been calling it a "stimulus: bill but given how quickly the economy, unemployment, and small businesses have headed into a downward whirlpool, I think […]

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