Thursday, April 25, 2013

Weekly Jobless Claims: 339,000.

Expecting 350,000. Actual: 339,000.

Huge drop in claims: down 16,000.

Four-week moving average: down 4,500 to 357,500 .

Continuing claims: 3.0 million vs 3.093 million last week.

Wednesday Morning Links

Active rigs: 187 (steady)

RBN Energy: update on the three refinery projects under consideration in North Dakota. One is under construction. I doubt the second will get very far. And the third has gotten most (all?) the permits required, but not the funding. To some extent, it's a sad commentary on the United States that these three refineries even make national news, as inconsequential as they are in the big (national) scheme of things. These are the first refineries, as small as they are, to be built in the contiguous US since 1977.

The takeaway from this article:
Nevertheless the challenge for refiners is that good times don’t always last for 20-30 years and that is typically how long it takes to get to payback on a new refinery investment. 
Why is this the takeaway? MDU is betting that the Bakken will be around for a long time.

[RBN Energy: it should be noted that it is not the price of crude oil that will determine the success/failure of these ND refineries, but rather the margins. From RBN:
For a refinery to pay out it needs more than a reliable, reasonably priced crude supply.  It needs petroleum product prices to be high enough above crude prices to support the refinery margins.]
 WSJ Links

Section D (Personal Journal):

Section C ( Money & Investing):
Apple and iBonds. A lot of story lines.

Section B (Marketing):

Section A:
When bad ideas go worse: senators seek way to ease FAA cuts.  The question was raised by Southwest Airlines. For all those fees passengers pay, why was the FAA even caught up in this? Why isn't the FAA financed completely by the airline industry, commercial and private. Something doesn't ring true here. On another note, they got a 25% increase n budget and yet a 2% cut causes nationwide problems? Again, something doesn't ring true.
The public's going to be furious when they find out that this could have been prevented," said Sen. Dan Coats (R., Ind.), who supports the bipartisan proposal to give the Department of Transportation more flexibility in dealing with the FAA cuts. The aviation agency has said it can't avoid furloughs in the course of complying with the mandated budget cuts.
Global warming: too much rain --> flooding in the Midwest, south of Chicago
Rains totaling more than 8 inches in the past week are causing rivers from Grand Rapids, Mich., to St. Louis to reach flood levels and putting communities along much of the Mississippi River on alert. The Des Plaines River, with a typical flood stage of 5 feet, swelled to 10.9 feet in Des Plaines, Ill., breaking a record from 1986. The wet spell is helping to reverse drought conditions across much of the corn belt, but keeping farmers from planting their next crops.
"The flood situations seem to drag on for so long. The rivers take a long time to come down, and that's the frustrating thing," said meteorologist Jim Keeney of the National Weather Service.
Oh, this is nice. Ancient Aleppo minaret destroyed. Idiots. I guess Allah willed it. After the Boston Marathon bombings, I really don't care what these folks do to themselves.
The minaret of a landmark 12th-century mosque in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo was destroyed Wednesday, leaving the once-soaring stone tower a pile of rubble and twisted metal scattered in the tiled courtyard.
President Bashar al-Assad's regime and antigovernment activists traded blame for the destruction to the Umayyad Mosque, which occurred in the heart Aleppo's walled Old City, a Unesco World Heritage site.
It was the second time in just over a week that a historic Sunni mosque in Syria has been seriously damaged. Mosques served as a launching pad for antigovernment protests in the early days of the country's two-year-old uprising, and many have been targeted.
 Speaking of which, Iraq continues to slide into chaos. I wonder if Iraq can wait for the next US president to help, of if Mr Obama will have to get involved?