Thursday, November 17, 2016

US Economy As Obama Administration Winds Down -- November 17, 2016

US housing starts: surge to 9-year high in October, 2016.
  • groundbreaking jumped 25% 
  • seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.32 million units
  • highest level since August, 2007
  • biggest increase since 1982
  • starts increased in all four region of the US
  • single-family home building jumped almost 11%
Jobless claims: sink to 43-year low as labor market tightens.
  • plummeted an astounding 19,000 to 235,000
  • lowest level since November, 1973
  • forecast: jobless claims rising to 257,000
  • net swing from forecast (+ 3,000) to actual (- 19,000) = 22,000
    • when swings are this huge, there is a usually a story -- which is seldom reported 
    • if reported, it generally reflects the view of the author, not any real analysis
  • hard to believe the analysts would be that far off
  • four-week average fell 6,500 to 253,500
Inflation? The Fed, and US savers looking for a bit of good news.
  • consumer prices in US increase for third consecutive month
  • inflation moving closer to the Federal Reserve's goal
  • CPI climbed 0.4% in October; gained 0.3% in September
  • the numbers exclude what most Americans spend most on, in any given week: food and gasoline 
Maine: tight labor market -- going after immigrants, refugees.
  • Maine: oldest median age in the nation
  • one of only two states where deaths outnumbered births between July, 2014, and July, 2015 (the other state: West Virginia)
  • by 2024: Maine could see a net decrease of 28% of people between 35 and 64 -- and a loss of one electoral vote (down to the minimum of 3)
US Presidents Not Subject To Conflict-Of-Interest Laws

Heard on MSNBC. Not fact-checked.

Blind trusts not required.

Liquidation of family businesses not required.

Monet Painting Sells For Record Amount

Data points from The Wall Street Journal:
  • "Grainstack"
  • $81.4 million
  • expected to sell for $45 million
  • seller: "famed" Denver stock picker Tom Marsico bought it fourteen years ago, in 2002, for roughly $12 million
  • five collectors bid for it
  • 1891 canvas; anonymous bidder over the telephone
  • previous Monet record: $80.4 million; "Water Lily Pond," eight years ago

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