Fundamentals 7/28: Jobless Claims, Pending Home Sales
– Initial Jobless Claims 398,000
– 4-week moving average 413,750
-This is the first time since April that Initial Claims have been under 400,000. This datum, while encouraging, needs to stay below 400,000. The fact is that there is an enormous number of lost jobs and it is going to take years to recover them – assuming that they can be recovered. Many economists regard 70% of unemployment at present to be cyclical and 30% to be structural. Cyclical unemployment results from business cycles. Structural unemployment results when there are jobs which do not match the skill of those seeking those jobs. This is an article by Alan Krueger explaining how he thinks we should start looking at unemployment. Krueger is an extremely highly regarded economist which makes his contrarian thinking in that piece worth a read. His point is that we should soon stop looking at the unemployment rate and start looking at the employment-to- population ratio.
NAR Pending Home Sales Index for June 90.9. This is up 2.4% month/month. I do not have the data yet but Rick Davis of Consumer Metrics Institute indicated that there is a big uptick in his metric of the housing market coming from a spike in listings. If that is the case then we have, I think, come to the time when home owners have realized that values are going to be flat and simply want to get out of the market. This could test values.