Continuing Jobless Claims Up to 1.67 Million… The number of workers ﬁling for jobless beneﬁts beyond the initial week has increased from roughly 1.306 million in May to 1.67 million last week.
What it means— To be fair, the 1.306 million in May was an all-time low, and we’re not yet back to where we started the year, at 1.778 million. Still, if the Fed was intending to look at any of the employment numbers this week and make a judgment, it might consider continuing claims weak, but just barely. We’re still not seeing spikes in jobless claims, which were up by a mere 4,000 (to 230,000), as you would expect with extended layoffs. So far, people who lose or quit their jobs appear to be ﬁnding new employment. That’s good for the economy, but it gives the Fed more conﬁdence to keep raising rates.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Crude Oil Prices Go Negative on the Year… WTI prices fell below $75 for the year on Thursday, going negative on the year and closing in on $71.
What it means— The Europeans and Americans obviously have the Russians on the ropes. They must be quaking in their boots about… Oh, wait a minute. If Russia sold oil at a discount anyway, and Saudi Arabia along with OPEC+ decided to keep pumping even though Chinese purchasing is way off, then no one will have to say anything about the price cap. The Russians can sell, everyone else can buy, and no one has to worry. It’s almost as if the production and, therefore, the price of oil eased toward the price cap range as the days went by.
Seriously though, it’s unlikely that the energy situation will last. Perhaps oil demand will remain soft for a while, but at some point, Europe will go through a cold patch and need more gas. Asia also likely will need gas and oil. It will be interesting to see what happens when shipping constraints then run up against oil price caps and natural gas shippers run out of space. We should be ready for price spikes.
Blackstone Throws Up a Gate, Limits Redemptions… Famous property owner Blackstone limited redemptions when investors tried to redeem more than 2% of the fund.
What it means— Commercial property is in a weird space. Non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) paid out $3.7 billion in redemptions last quarter, up 12 times from the same quarter last year. But the funds still brought in more funds from new investors than they paid in withdrawals. The worry is that some very big investors, like pension funds and endowments, will try to rotate out of the sector by withdrawing big chunks of money, requiring the owners to sell the buildings to pay. So far that has not happened, but companies adjust to remote work quickly, even though they deal with big leases slowly. The overhang on commercial property could be with us for a decade, as we work such leases through the system.
Woman on Flight from Houston to Columbus, Ohio, Tries to Open Airplane Hatch… Claims Jesus Told Her Do It… The woman walked to the back of the ﬂight and stared at the exit door. She asked if she could open the window and the ﬂight attendant said no. That’s when the woman tried to open the hatch at 37,000 feet. Another passenger joined the effort to stop her, helping to wrestle her to the ground, at which point the woman bit the passenger on the thigh and held on. After the bitten passenger got her to stop biting, the woman banged her own head on the plane ﬂoor, later saying that Jesus told her to open the plane door. The woman had left home without telling her husband and was traveling with no luggage.
Data supplied by HS Dent Research
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