U.S. stock markets rebounded after three days of losses as investors reverted to their old ways of buying big tech and home equity as more states ordered temporary shutdowns due to cases of daily viruses records. Apple stocks (AAPL) led the charge and Tesla stocks (TSLA) continued to rally after its upcoming inclusion in the S&P 500.
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Some whispers of hope over stimulus talks made their way out of Capitol Hill and that perhaps added to the excitement. The need for more direct help for Americans and small businesses is growing stronger every day as weekly jobless claims have risen for the first week in five. This is not a good sign, as pandemic unemployment benefits will expire at the end of December.
Stock markets remain limited by the range, as we mentioned yesterday. Today’s moves show investors are more risk-averse, but they seem to want to stick with the stocks they’ve invested in.
Graph courtesy of Federal Reserve Economic Data. The Bad, the Good and the Scary of the U.S. Labor Market The Bad
The US labor market has stagnated in recent weeks as the economy faces more partial lockdowns and demand has not returned in several sectors. Today we learned that 742,000 Americans first applied for unemployment benefits last week, which was a sudden increase after five straight weeks of decline. This level is more than three times higher than the roughly 210,000 typically deposited weekly in the first two months of 2020, although it is down sharply from the high of nearly 7 million at the end of March. .
The number of people receiving unemployment benefits under regular public programs, which cover most workers, fell to 6.4 million for the week ended Nov. 7, from 6.8 million a week earlier. The good news is that continued unemployment claims continue to decline and are now below levels reached in 2009 during the last recession.
Chart courtesy of Bespoke Investment Group. The scary
Millions of Americans who have exhausted their state benefits are now collecting money through a federal program that provides 13 additional weeks of benefits. According to the Labor Department, about 4.4 million people were receiving assistance under the extended benefits program during the week ended Oct. 31, up from 4.1 million a week earlier. This program ends on December 31, and without a new stimulus package with direct payments to these workers, their safety net will disappear.
Home builders bounce back
At the other end of the K-shaped recovery is the upper end of the US real estate market. According to the National Association of Realtors, October continued the streak of scorching home sales and rising prices. Here’s a quick summary:
Existing home sales rose for the fifth consecutive month in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $ 6.85 million, up 4.3% from the previous month and 26.6% from the previous month. last year. The median price of existing homes was $ 313,000, almost 16% higher. The housing stock was down from the previous month and a year ago to 1.42 million, enough to last 2.5 months, a record high at the current pace of sales. More than 7 out of 10 homes sold in October 2020 72% had been on the market for less than a month.
It’s hot, and it translated into strong stock market performance for the nation’s largest home builders: KB Homes (KBH), Toll Brothers (TOL) and Pulte (PHM) (chart above).
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