- first time unemployment claims rose 11,000 to 261,000
- consensus forecast: would edge down to 245,000
- another site suggested the increase was only 9,000 (probably based on revisions of previous data), but also agreed that claims were 261,000
- this is the highest reading since the week ended September 23, 2017 -- harsh winter conditions blamed
- biggest increases in claims:
- NY, CA, GA, PA, TX, and AL
India buying more US light oil, link here:
Indian Oil Corp (IOC) today bought its third shipload or cargo of US crude oil as it looks at cheaper alternatives that have emerged due to the global supply glut.
IOC bought 2 million barrels of light Louisiana sweet crude oil in a tender today. The oil is for delivery at its Paradip refinery in Odisha during April 11-20.
IOC's Paradip refinery had in October last year received India's first ever shipment of US crude oil when it imported a 1.6 million barrels parcel. Prior to today's buying, IOC had placed a cumulative order of 3.9 million barrel of US crude. Sources said IOC had previously imported blend of two grades of crude oil but in today's tender it has bought the entire 2 million barrels of single grade crude oil.SM to sell Powder River assets: for $500 million, net acreage; link here. About $4,500 / acre.
Re-balancing: Saudi says oil markets will become balanced in 2018. Link here. Most recent data suggests re-balancing in the US should occur in about 24 weeks, mid- to late-2018.
Snookered? Oilprice notes it but does not address the issue -- why is API and EIA data so far apart? API seems to always be high; markets listen to EIA, not API. This week API reported a drawdown of 11 million bbls of US crude oil, and yet the official EIA figures showed the drawdown was just short of 5 million bbls.
Making America great again: specifically citing the Trump tax bill, Walmart uses lower US tax bill to raise minimum wage to $11/hour, plus $1,000-bonuses. Reuters is reporting: Walmart Stores Inc said on Thursday it would raise entry-level wages for hourly employees to $11 an hour as it benefits from the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years.
The world’s largest retailer said the increase would take effect in February and that it would also expand maternity and parental leave benefits and offer a one-time cash bonus, based on length of service, of up to $1,000.
The pay increase and bonus will benefit more than 1 million U.S. hourly workers, it said.
Walmart’s announcement follows companies like AT&T Inc, Wells Fargo & Co and Boeing Co, which have all promised more pay for workers after the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress passed a tax bill last month that cut the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.
Back to the Bakken
RBN Energy: could good times be coming soon for a resurgent Bakken? RBN Energy begins a series on the Bakken. Should be exciting. Articles will be archived. Best way to follow this story: monthly Legacy Fund deposits. See this post for an estimate of the Legacy Fund deposit for January, 2018.