Rover's Weekly Market Brief - 12/29/2023

December 29, 2023 Printer Friendly Printer Friendly


DJIA: 37,689.40 (+0.81%)

NASDAQ: 15,011.30 (+0.12%)

S&P 500: 4,769.89 (+0.32%)


Gold: 2,073.20 (+0.78%)

Copper: 389.30 (-0.06%)

Crude Oil: 71.39 (-2.95%)

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The Labor Department reported an increase in initial jobless claims for the week ending December 23, marking the second consecutive weekly increase. The seasonally adjusted initial claims came in at 218,000, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised 206,000. The four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility, was 212,000, a decrease of 250 from the previous week’s upwardly revised average. For the week ending December 16, the insured unemployment rate was 1.3%. The total number of unemployment claims for the week ending December 16 was reported at 1.875M up 14,000 from the previous week’s downwardly revised level. The continuing claims’ 4-week moving average was 1.864M, a decrease of 12,500 from the previous downwardly revised level. According to the unadjusted data for the week ending December 23 – California (+5,594), Missouri (+4,556), and New Jersey led the increase in initial claims. Texas (-2,248), Florida (-506), and West Virginia (-462) led the decrease. On an unadjusted basis, claims rose 31,570 to 272,610. Of the 53 states and U.S. territories that report jobless claims, 37 reported increases and 16 reported declines. For the week ending December 9, 1.863M people were receiving jobless benefits through state or federal programs, an increase of 68,973 from the previous week. There were some 1.620M weekly claims filed for the comparable week in 2022.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index remained unchanged in November at 71.6. October’s pending home sales fell to the lowest level since April 2020. The Pending Home Sales Index tracks the transactions of home sale contracts not yet completed in the US, where an index of 100 is the average contract activity in 2001. Month over month pending home sales increased in three of four regions – signings increased in the West (+4.2% to 54.0), followed by the Northeast (+0.8% to 64.4), and the Midwest (+0.5% to 76.2). The South saw a decrease (-2.3% to 83.2). Year over year pending sales have dropped (-5.2%). Year-over-year figures fell in all regions, with the South leading the way (-6,5%), followed by Northeast (-6.4%), West (-4.9%), and Midwest (-2.2%). Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist expressed some optimism stating that “Although declining mortgage rates did not induce more homebuyers to submit formal contracts in November, it has sparked a surge in interest, as evidenced by a higher number of lockbox openings”.

The US Energy Information Administration reported that US commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 6.9M barrels to 436.6M barrels (1% below the five-year average) for the week ending December 22nd, as gasoline inventories declined and refineries increased production. Gasoline inventories decreased by 0.6M barrels (2% below the five-year average), as compared to a 2.7M barrels increase the previous week. Distillate inventories increased by 0.8M barrels (9% below the five-year average), as compared to a 1.4M barrels increase the previous week. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 17.3M barrels. Crude oil refinery inputs averaged 16.6M bpd, an increase of 109K bpd as compared to the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 93.3% of their operable capacity, up from 92.4% the previous week. Gasoline production increased to an average of 10.0M bpd and distillate fuel production increased to an average 5.1M bpd. Crude oil imports came in at 6.3M bpd, a decrease of 415K bpd as compared to the previous week. Crude oil imports averaged about 6.7M bpd over the last four weeks, 8.2% more than the same period last year. Total motor gasoline imports averaged 512K bpd, and distillate fuel imports averaged 238K bpd.

Upcoming Economic Reports:

Wednesday January 3 – ISM Manufacturing PMI (December)

Friday January 5 – Unemployment Rate (December)

Earnings Calendar:


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