Daily Market Commentary for June 23, 2011
President Obama announced the United States, a member of the International Energy Agency [IEA], will release 30M barrels of oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserves, as a result of 'tightness' in the oil market. (read more at Millennium-Traders.Com)
Per Labor Department reports this morning, weekly jobless claims in the U.S. rose to 429,000. Overall jobless claims rose by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 429,000 in the week ended June 18. Initial jobless claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 420,000 from an originally reported 414,000. The lack of further declines in the number of people seeking jobless benefits indicates that companies are not hiring as fast as they were, earlier this year. Jobless Claims tend to fall well below 400,000 for a prolonged period or time, during a phase of strong economic growth.
During a Senate hearing yesterday, an independent consultant said 90% of states use technology that is at least 20 years old - and some much older - to process jobless claims data. Other experts and state officials say the U.S. could save billions of dollars if more money were spent to upgrade the nation’s unemployment insurance system, which is jointly run by the states and federal government. In the past two years alone, the government has handed out nearly $30 billion in jobless benefits to people, who were not qualified to receive such.
The average for new jobless claims over the past four weeks was flat at 426,250 with the monthly average considered a more accurate measure of employment trends. Continuing claims moved lower by 1,000, to a seasonally adjusted 3.7 million in the week ended June 11.
For week ended June 4, approximately 3.95 million people received extended benefits which is up approximately 68,000 from prior week. Extended benefits from the federal government, in most states, may be available for workers who have used up regular benefits. For week ending June 4, a total of 7.54 million people received some kind of state or federal unemployment benefit. This number is up 137,220 from the prior week.
Economic data released today:
Initial Jobless Claims: U.S. Jobless Claims +9K to 429K In Jun 18 week vs. Survey -1K; U.S. Jun 11 Week Jobless Claims Revised to 420K from 414K.
Continuing Jobless Claims: U.S. Jun 11 Week Continuing Claims -1K to 3,697,000.
Chicago Fed National Activity: May National Activity Index -0.37 vs. April -0.56; May NAI 3-Month Moving Average -0.19 vs. April -0.15.
Bloomberg Consumer Confidence: U.S. Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index -44.9 last week.
New Home Sales: U.S. April New Home Sales Revised to 326K from 323K; U.S. May New Home Sales -2.1% to 319K vs. Consensus 310K.
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