Shows: Nightly Business Report. PBS NewsHour. Bloomberg Technology.
CNBC: St. Louis Fed President James Bullard speaks on monetary policy.
Indices: Market Today. Market (52 weeks). Portfolio (52 weeks).
FX: USD Today. USD Year. AUD Today. AUD Year.
In Portfolioticker today
Today at the stock market
“The Dow and S&P 500 advanced on Thursday to halt a two-session losing skid, buoyed by gains in industrial and energy shares as U.S. Treasury yields eased, while the Nasdaq lost ground for a third straight session.
Major indexes advanced early as worries about a faster pace of interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve were eased by comments by St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who expressed concerns that a “bunch of hikes” could turn Fed policy restrictive. Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields retreated from the more than 4-year highs hit on Wednesday. Those gains faded, however, and major indexes finished well off session highs as investors exercised caution in what is likely to be a rising interest rate environment.
“The rally on Bullard was a little overzealous,” said Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut. “I wouldn’t be out there aggressively buying stocks because until the interest rate picture clarifies, and it probably will do so at a higher level, it is just going to create problems for equities,” he said.
The concerns over rising interest rates have dogged Wall Street of late, and stocks stumbled on Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s Jan 2018 meeting showed the central bank’s rate-setting committee grew more confident in the need to keep raising rates. Market participants are still largely expecting the Fed to raise rates 3 times this year, beginning with its next meeting in Mar 2018.
Despite the recent climb in rates, many analysts expect the stock market to be able to absorb the rise as long as economic data remain supportive and the pace of the increase is modest.
Industrial shares rosed 0.59%, led by a 3.04% gain in Quanta Services Inc after its quarterly results and a 3.34% rise in United Technologies Corp after the aero parts maker said it is exploring a breakup of its business portfolio.
Energy stocks, up 1.08%, also helped support gains, as oil prices advanced on a surprise draw in U.S. crude inventories.” Reuters
^ Market indices today (mouseover for 12 month view) Chart: Google Finance
|Index||Ticker||Today||Change||31 Dec 17||YTD|
|S&P 500||SPX (INX)||2,703.96||+0.09%||2,238.83||+1.13%|
^ USD and AUD denominated indices over the past 52 weeks Chart: Bunting
|Index||Currency||Today||Change||31 Dec 17||YTD|
Portfolio stock prices
Amazon keeps breaking records every day, closing at $1,485.34 up 0.16% on yesterday’s record $1,482.92.
In other stocks the market seems to be having difficulty determining a direction and rationale. Taking Apple as an example …
|Stock||Ticker||Today||Change||31 Dec 17||YTD|
^ Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index (DXY) movements today (mouseover for 12 month view) Chart: Bloomberg
“The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index (DXY) fell 0.4%, the first retreat in a week.
The EUR rose 0.3% to USD 1.2325, the largest advance in a week.
Japan’s JPY rose 1% to 106.701 per USD, the first advance in a week and the largest climb in more than 2 weeks.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index rose 0.2%.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell 3 basis points to 2.92%.
The 2-year yield fell one basis point to 2.25%.
Germany’s 10-year yield decreased 2 basis points to 0.706%.” Bloomberg
^ AUD movements against the USD today (mouseover for 12 month view) Chart: xe.com
Oil and Gas Futures
Prices are as at 15:49 ET
- NYMEX West Texas Intermediate (WTI): $62.61/barrel +1.51%% Chart
- ICE (London) Brent North Sea Crude: $66.21/barrel +1.21%% Chart
- NYMEX Natural gas futures: $2.62/MMBTU -1.62%% Chart
AU: Average Weekly Earnings. Nov 2017
Press Release Extract [au_awe]
In the twelve months to November 2017, Full-Time Adult Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings increased by 2.3% to $1,567.90.
The Full-Time Adult Average Weekly Total Earnings in November 2017 was $1,628.10, a rise of 2.2% from the same time last year.
Private and Public Sector Earnings
In November 2017, the Full-Time Adult Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings was $1,721.50 in the Public sector. Private sector Full-Time Adult Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings was $1,529.50.
Looking at Full-Time Adult Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings for November 2017 in more detail:
- the Full-Time Adult Male Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings were $1,826.90 in the Public sector, and $1,634.30 in the Private sector; and
- the Full-Time Adult Female Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings were $1,625.50 in the Public sector, and $1,322.50 in the Private sector.
Average Weekly Cash Earnings
In November 2017, on average, full-time adult employees in Australia salary sacrificed $45.70 (Full-time adult ordinary time cash earnings $1,615.30 minus Full-time adult ordinary time earnings $1,569.60). This is a decrease of $5.20 from May 2017.
In November 2017, employees in the Mining industry had the highest Full-Time Adult Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings in Australia at $2,580.70. The industry with the lowest level of Full-Time Adult Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings was the Accommodation and food services industry ($1,112.90).
State and Territory Earnings
In November 2017, Full-Time Adult Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings was highest for the Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia, $1,803.10, and $1,742.80 respectively.”
Australian Bureau of Statistics, “6302.0 Average Weekly Earnings. Nov 2017“, 21 Feb 2018 More
US: Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report
Press Release Extract [ser_4]
In the week ending February 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 222,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 1,000 from 230,000 to 229,000. The 4-week moving average was 226,000, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 250 from 228,500 to 228,250.
Claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.3 percent for the week ending February 10, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending February 10 was 1,875,000, a decrease of 73,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up 6,000 from 1,942,000 to 1,948,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,926,500, a decrease of 16,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,500 from 1,941,250 to 1,942,750.
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 213,328 in the week ending February 17, a decrease of 19,477 (or -8.4 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 11,927 (or -5.1 percent) from the previous week. There were 239,322 initial claims in the comparable week in 2017.
The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.6 percent during the week ending February 10, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,261,742, a decrease of 61,813 (or -2.7 percent) from the preceding week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 25,320 (or 1.1 percent) from the previous week. A year earlier the rate was 1.8 percent and the volume was 2,489,682.
The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending February 3 was 2,360,760, an increase of 13,383 from the previous week. There were 2,508,785 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2017.
Extended benefits were available in Alaska and the Virgin Islands during the week ending February 3.
Initial claims for UI benefits filed by former Federal civilian employees totaled 709 in the week ending February 10, a decrease of 213 from the prior week. There were 649 initial claims filed by newly discharged veterans, a decrease of 91 from the preceding week.
There were 13,683 former Federal civilian employees claiming UI benefits for the week ending February 3, an increase of 1,408 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 8,453, a decrease of 373 from the prior week.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending February 3 were in the Virgin Islands (11.7), Alaska (4.2), Puerto Rico (3.6), Connecticut (3.0), New Jersey (3.0), Montana (2.8), Pennsylvania (2.7), Rhode Island (2.7), Massachusetts (2.6), California (2.4), and Illinois (2.4).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending February 10 were in Michigan (+565), Tennessee (+291), Kansas (+204), Minnesota (+190), and New Jersey (+186), while the largest decreases were in California (-2,533), Pennsylvania (-1,420), Puerto Rico (-1,366), New York (-1,043), and South Carolina (-569). ”
Employment and Training Administration, “Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report“, 22 Feb 2018 (08:30) More
^ JPY movements against the USD over the past month (mouseover for inverse) Chart: xe.com
Stockmarket: Nikkei 225
^ Nikkei 225 movements over the past week Chart: Google Finance
^ CNY movements against the USD over the past month (mouseover for inverse) Chart: xe.com
^ Shanghai CSI300 movements over the past week Chart: Google Finance