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Crude Oil: 56.86 (+2.19%)
There were a record high 6.093 million job openings at the end of September, with a net 1.8 million jobs gained over the previous 12 months ending in September. Job openings increased for professional and business services (+156,000), other services (+52,000), state and local government (+36,000), and the federal government (+15,000), and decreased for food services (-111,000), construction (-34,000), and information (-28,000). The number of quits per month did not change significantly in September, but there were notable increases in quits for professional and business services (+82,000), and decreases in quits for other services (-45,000) and real estate (-16,000). At the current unemployment rate, there are 1.1 unemployed workers per job opening vs. a high of 6.6 workers in July 2009.
Initial jobless claims were up +10,000 last week, but the four-week average of claims dropped to 231,250, the lowest level since March 1973. In their report, the Department of Labor noted that claims taking procedures had improved in Puerto Rico, and they were now processing backlogged claims, but claims processing was still severely disrupted in the Virgin Islands. Initial claims significantly increased in Puerto Rico (+2,677) and California (+1,412) and dropped in Georgia (-1,531) and Florida (-1,263). For the week ending October 28th, the total number of workers claiming unemployment insurance benefits was up +17,000 to 1.901 million.
Crude oil inventories unexpectedly increased by 2.2 million barrels last week, bringing total reserves to the upper half of the average range for this time of year at 457.1 million barrels. Refineries operated at 89.6% capacity, up 1.5% from the previous week, with distillate fuel production increasing to 5.2 million barrels/day and gasoline production dropping to 10.2 million barrels/day. Compared to the same 4-week period last year, demand for gasoline was up +3.0% to 9.3 million barrels/day, and gas prices averaged $2.561/gallon, up $0.073/gallon for the week, and $0.412/gallon for the year.
Wednesday November 15 – Retail Sales
Thursday November 16 – Industrial Production