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The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported a $61.5 billion trade deficit in September, an increase of $2.9B (+4.9%) over August’s $58.7B – the lowest reading since September 2020. The September increase in the trade deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $1.7B to $86.3B and a decrease in the services surplus of $1.2B to $24.8B. September exports increased (+2.2%) to $261.1B, nearing an all-time high. Exports of goods increasing (+3.1%) to $176.7B, with exports of services increasing (+0.4%) to $84.4B. Imports of goods and services reported up (+2.7%) to $322.7B, with services imports rising (+2.6%) to $59.6B. Imports were at highest their level since February 2023. For the first nine months of 2023, the U.S. trade deficit has contracted by 20% ($147.4B) as compared to the same period in 2022. Exports increased 1.0% ($22.7B), while imports decreased 4.2% ($124.8B). The trade deficit with China reached $28.44B in September, a (+9.5%) increased over August’s $25.95B. Imports from China increased (+9.6%) to $40.28B, while exports to China increased (+9.9%) to $10.76B.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its November 2023 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) expects U.S. crude oil production to end the year at 12.9 million barrels per day (bpd) and to increase 1.2M bpd to 13.15 million bpd in 2024. The EAI forecast that the Brent crude oil spot price will average $90 per barrel (b) in Q4 2023, and average $93.00/b next year, it is anticipated that OPEC+ production cuts will offset production growth from non-OPEC countries. The EIA projected U.S. gasoline prices to average $3.40 per gallon (g) for the rest of 2023, resulting in an average $3.51/g for 2023, and $3.60/g for 2024. U.S. gasoline consumption is projected to decline by 1% in 2024. U.S. natural gas inventories are projected to end the winter heating season (November–March) at almost 2,000 billion cubic feet, 21% above the five-year average. Contributing factors include higher production, and an anticipated warmer winter season. The Henry Hub spot price is expected to average $3.20 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in November, a drop of nearly 53% from a year earlier, resulting in an average $2.67 MMBtu for 2023, and $3.25 MMBtu for 2024. U.S. coal exports are expected to rise to 97 million short tons (MMst) for 2023. However, U.S. coal production is projected to fall by more than 100 MMst in 2024 due to reduced demand from the electric power sector.
The Labor Department reported a decrease in initial jobless claims for the week ending November 4th. The seasonally adjusted initial claims reported in at 217,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 3,000 to 220,000. The four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility was 212,250 an increase of 1,400 from the previous week’s revised average. Of the 53 states and U.S. territories that report jobless claims, 35 reported increases and 18 reported declines. California (+3,416), New York (+2,457), and Pennsylvania (+1,677) led the increase in initial claims, while Oregon (-2,844), North Carolina (-700), and Florida (-392) saw the most decreases. For the week ending October 28th, the number of people continuing to claim unemployment also known as the insured unemployment rate was 1.2%, unchanged from the prior week. Continuing claims reported in at 1.834M up 22,000 from the previous week’s downwardly revised level, this marks the seventh straight week of increase. The continuing claims 4-week moving average was 1,789,000, an increase of 32,250 from the previous week’s downwardly revised level. For the week ending October 21st, 1,599,616 people were receiving jobless benefits through state or federal programs, an increase of 1,962, from the previous week’s level. There were 1,263,105 weekly claims filed for the comparable week in 2021.
Tuesday November 14 – CPI (MoM) (October)
Wednesday November 15 – Retail Sales (MoM) (October)
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