Morning Report: Job openings and the Fed

Vital Statistics:


Last Change
S&P futures 2833.5 3
Eurostoxx index 381.78 0.68
Oil (WTI) 48.46 -0.14
10 year government bond yield 2.60%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 4.27%


Stocks are higher this morning on overseas strength. Bonds and MBS are up.


The big event this week will be the FOMC meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. No changes are expected in interest rates, and the Street will be focused primarily on the dot plot and whether it is catching up with what the Fed Funds futures are saying. The December 2018 dot plot predicted that the end of 2019 Fed Funds rate would be in the 2.75% – 3% range, in other words two more rate hikes in 2019. A Reuters poll of economists forecasts 1 more hike this year. On the other hand, the markets are predicting a Fed Funds rate in the 2.25% – 2.5% range – in other words no change. To be fair, there has been a major change in market sentiment since December, but one of the two (the experts or the markets) has clearly got it wrong. In December, only 2 out of the 17 forecasts expected the Fed to not hike this year, and nobody was looking for a rate cut. The futures on the other hand are handicapping a 75% chance of no hike and about a 25% chance of a rate cut. This is a massive expectations gap.


Other than the FOMC meeting, there isn’t much in the way of important economic data. We will get leading economic indicators on Thursday, and existing home sales on Friday.


There were 7.58 million job openings at the end of January, which is close to the record set back in November. The 2018 data series was also revised upward, with about 353,000 additional job openings on average. The quits rate was 2.3%, which is where it has been for most of 2013 after that series was revised. The quits rate describes the number of people who are leaving their current job to get another, so it tends to lead increases in wage growth.


job openings


The housing industry is driven at least partially by new home construction, and there is a noted labor shortage in that sector. The problem is most acute in skilled trades, like electricians and plumbers, but unskilled supply is still an issue. The job opening rate for construction was 3.9% last month, as opposed to 3.3% a year ago. The quits rate edged up for the sector as well, rising to 2.5%.



39 Responses

  1. Dick Dale has died.


  2. The media is working overtime to blame the NZ shooter on Trump


    • It’s bigger than that. It’s to define “white nationalism/white supremacy” as the true international terrorist threat.


      • Well, Greg was whining that Trump didn’t condemn the NZ situation in the proper progressive-approved language.

        Guess he didn’t get the latest updates from the Ministry of Language.


      • Yeah. Which is nuts. Identitarians of all stripes are bad, but the single biggest problem in the whole world is not one class of people, or even one gender. But as with all such incidents, there is an immediate move amongst the ideologically religious to incorporate it into their theology and proselytization.


  3. More research. Find lots of news articles quoting the manifesto while saying “don’t read it! it’s what the terrorist wanted!” Yet none of the quotes contain anything from this part:

    Ask yourself, truly, what has modern conservatism managed to conserve?

    What does it seek to conserve? The natural environment? Western Culture? Ethnic autonomy? Religion? The nation? The race?

    Nothing is conserved. The natural environment is industrialized, pulverized and commoditized.

    Western culture is trivialized, pulped and blended into a smear of meaningless nothing, with the only tenets and beliefs seemingly held to are the myth of the individual, the value of work (productivity for the benefit of your capitalist owners) and the sovereignty of private property (to ensure none of us get grand ideas of taking the unearned wealth of our owners).

    Ethnic autonomy? Destroyed in the name of cheap labour, whilst they may publicly object to the illegal immigration of the third world masses, privately they push for as much migration as possible, anything to decrease the labour cost of production and line their pockets with the profits. They removed the Europeans peoples autonomy and sovereignty for their own lust for power and wealth.

    Religion? What remains? Empty churches and full shopping centers?

    Drive through confessionals and no fault divorce? Any religious ideal that stood between the wealthy and wealth generation was downplayed, sidelined and quietly dismantled. All so that they could line their pockets without complaints or objections.

    The nation? What nations do we have to conserve? What our own nations now based on? Their is no shared culture, ethnicity, language, values or beliefs. Anyone can be a member of our nation, as long as they have the paperwork. They need not be born here, share our race, our language, our culture or our beliefs. Hear the conservatives cry, as long as they are willing to WORK, let them in! Let them earn our wealthy benefactors their second yachts and their fifth properties!

    The Race? They don’t even BELIEVE in the race, they don’t even have the gall to say race exists. And above all they don’t even care if it does.

    It’s profit, and profit alone that drives them, all else is secondary. The notion of a racial future or destiny is as foreign to them as social responsibilities.

    Not a thing has been conserved other than corporate profits and the the ever increasing wealth of the 1% that exploit the people for their own benefit.

    Conservatism is dead. Thank god. Now let us bury it and move on to something of worth.


    I wonder why.


    • That’s interesting re the “don’t read it” angle.

      A lot of lefties love the Unibomber’s manifesto and aren’t afraid of admitting it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The media is being willfully obtuse on their complicity here. It’s not the posting of the uncensored manifesto that drives copycats, but the undivided media attention for days on end that stops the focus on anything else other than the shooter.

      The whole “we can read it and pick out the appropriate pieces to share, but the unwashed masses need to be protected from it” stance fails to reckon with just how low the media is held in public opinion.

      No one accepts them as an authority any more.

      And no, this isn’t about Facebook or social media. The Virginia Tech shooter mailed a media package to NBC.

      SNL got this right years ago:


      • but the undivided media attention for days on end that stops the focus on anything else other than the shooter.


        Hi, I killed Buckwheat.

        The whole “we can read it and pick out the appropriate pieces to share, but the unwashed masses need to be protected from it” stance fails to reckon with just how low the media is held in public opinion.

        Sometimes it seems like the only opinion they care about is the opinion of other journalists, and they are primarily performing for each other in a mutual admiration society.

        BTW, SNL was great on that. SNL doesn’t do stuff like that anymore. it was also a long-form gag throughout that episode. And they spent a lot of repetitive, patient time on it. Would never do that now.


  4. You know what pisses me off about the link? It’s the picture of Roger Daltry. That he looks so fucking good at 72, after drinking to excess, taking massive amounts of drugs, smoking and fucking groupie broads by the bus load.

    Fucking asshole!

    Quadraphonia > Who’s Next. Don’t @ me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Some people have no senso humero.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve served on HOA boards and dealt with cocksuckers like this.

    It never occurs to these assholes that what attracted them to the neighborhood in the first place is created by the covenants that he doesn’t want to abide by. A lot of people do not like the uniformity of these communities, fine, there’s a lot not to like about them. If that’s the case, go somewhere else.

    This says it all about this douche,

    He liked the look and location of Avignon Villa, where the HOA handled tasks like lawn maintenance for the mostly retired residents of its 153 well-tended homes. Mr. Hildenbrand was given a list of the HOA rules at the closing and initialed it, but said he didn’t realize what it was.

    The neighborhood attracted him because it’s maintained bu magic!

    “I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ ” Mr. Hildenbrand said. “The stupidity of this whole thing amazed me.

    Yes, your stupidity is amazing.

    And most HOA boards ain’t filled with Einstein’s either.

    A new judge, Rhonda Mason, ruled last year that Mr. Hildenbrand had been dealt with unfairly but also failed to obtain approval for the wall and ordered him to pay a $25,000 fine to the HOA. The HOA appealed, and Mr. Hildenbrand said he plans to as well.


    • This says it all about this douche,



    • “Isn’t this what it’s all about?” he said. “Principles and protecting our constitutional rights? I do want an HOA, where I don’t have broken down cars, boats, and campers sitting around. That’s all reasonable, that you keep up the neighborhood. But this is no longer reasonable. This is about total control and people who are not anywhere close to being qualified to run any type of financial business matters.”

      I didn’t realize ignoring HOA covenants was a constitutional right. That being said, I can sympathize with being surprised at how far HOAs go in enforcing conformity . . . but you move into a neighborhood with an HOA, that’s likely how it’s going to be.

      I dunno. The HOA sounds a little douchey to me, too. Eh, they deserve each other.


    • He’s a white male. What else do we need to know about him? Nothing else is relevant or important. Pass!

      Beto lost to Cruz. Generally, losing to a guy who frankly is kind of creepy in a lesser office is not the best launching pad to the presidency.

      “This is going to be a positive campaign that seeks to bring out the very best from every single one of us, that seeks to unite a very divided country,”

      Obviously, he’s a damn liar.

      Kossack’s live in their own make-believe world of insanity:

      O’Rourke was arrested twice in his younger years: first for trespassing on the campus of the University of Texas in El Paso, then later for driving while intoxicated. “I acknowledge the truth of the criticism that I have enjoyed white privilege,” he said during a recording of the podcast Political Party LIVE! in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It’s pretty inarguable that had he been a person of color caught doing those things, he could have faced police violence, if not death.

      Yes, the normal punishment for African-Americans for drunk driving is death by white-hooded firing squad.

      From the comments: Because if win t he Senate and the White House, we want to think in terms of 16 and 24 zyears, not just 8.

      Meaning that they need to start thinking about Democrats holding the White House (and presumably the Senate) for 24 years. Not sure how they plan on that without staging a military coup.

      An observation from the comments on a recurring theme:

      But I’ll vote for whoever the Democrats nominate, even if I have to hold my nose. I’ve done that more times than I want to count. (Who’s old enough to remember “Hold your nose and vote for Humphrey”?

      I have a feeling if you pointed out how weird it is that all those evangelicals voted for a morally repugnant guy like Trump, the same people who say that would shake their heads and wonder how such a thing could be possible. Then conclude it’s because Christians are liars and hate beauty.

      I try to remember that America’s First Black President had to deal with constraints and obligations that a white President never would. Even America’s second black President will have more room to innovate than PBO did.

      What set the stage for Trumpus was the white counter-revolution ignited by the color of PBO’s skin. Sanders’ decision to launch his “political revolution” straight into the teeth of a neo-Confederate rebellion was ill-conceived.

      How do you spend time there, McWing? It’s like walking through insane sewage that is also a mountain of unwashed, smelly hobos high on meth.

      Or maybe that’s why you spend time there. Hmmm.


  7. Fuck this dumb bitch.

    Keep your fucking hands off my pain meds you cow.


    • Because no one needs a month’s supply for a wisdom tooth extraction.

      So people recovering from hip replacements, major surgery, or suffering chronic pain will also have to abide by the same rules as people who had a wisdom tooth pulled? Also, I have 4 wisdom teeth pulled like 10 years ago and was told to take Ibuprofen.


  8. Brent – grist for your argument that Americans won’t do anything more onerous than recycling when it comes to the environment.


    • In Memphis, the international airport still has recycling bins around the terminals, but every collected can, bottle and newspaper is sent to a landfill.

      I knew it. I mean, I didn’t know it. But I knew it.

      Efforts at recycling here have always been pretty weak. I kind of figured when I took stuff and dumped it in the dumpsters at the recycling center, they weren’t doing anything but carting it off to a landfill. The big containers might as well be labeled: going to a landfill.


  9. On Thursday, Netflix canceled “One Day at a Time” after three seasons. This was a loss for fans and for TV. It was a sharp, funny sitcom, full of heart, that also represented groups of people who don’t get enough screen time: Latino, working-class, gay, nonbinary, military, recovering addicts, immigrants. It combined a classic TV form — the studio-audience family sitcom — with a sensibility that was utterly of the moment. It was one of TV’s best laughs and best cries.

    No. Just no. I’ve watched One Dat at a Time on Netflix. Like all of Lear’s post-80s reboots it’s unfunny and preachy, featuring scripts dictated by the policy objective of the Normal Lear center. It was mostly unfunny and maudlin. It was not remotely one of the best laughs or cries on TV. Cries probably goes to This is Us. Laughs goes to Big Bang or The Good Place or Superstore. You know, actual hits on actual networks that command an actual audience.

    Also: Latino, working class, gay, nonbinary, military, recovering addicts, and immgrants don’t get enough time on TV? What frackin’ planet is this guy living on? Or what century? Arguably true in 1960 or 1950, I guess. Not a lot of gay representation on TV in 1980s and 1970s, I suppose.

    I haven’t watched more than four or five, but every one of those was a slog to get through. It’s one of those shows that falls somewhere between being work to watch to being actively unpleasant. And I’ve watched every episode of This is Us.

    First of all, neither you nor I nor anyone outside Netflix’s Fort Knox of data knows how many people watched “One Day,” nor any other Netflix show, because Netflix — with the exception of the occasional cherry-picked example like “You” — does not release that information.

    But a rational person can guess. Except for the comrades slogging their way through the Norman Lear Center talking points out of a since of duty to The Greater Good, I can’t imagine anyone actually watching this and liking it as entertainment. Like I said, there may have been better episodes but if there was ever a funny joke it never made it to any of the season’s hilight reels. This was something greenlighted out of respect or perhaps the urging of Lear, and most episodes were Very Special Episodes with a lesson (something the Lear Center advocates for, and provides fodder for, on lots of TV shows) and forced humor that never seemed that funny, and drama that never felt real.

    I can tell you this. Nobody is or was or ever would be subscribing to Netflix to watch the preachy, anemic reboot of One Day at a Time, and nobody is going to leave because it’s gone.

    For fun I Googled “One Day at a Time” review. There are lots of rave reviews. Maybe it’s way better than what I’ve seen suggested. But when you get articles like Review: The Euphoria of ‘One Day at a Time’ – The New York Times and 5 reasons One Day at a Time is one of the best, most empathetic shows on TV, forgive me for thinking that it feels like there was some kind of astroturf campaign going on. Eh, maybe not. It’s entirely possible I just don’t get it. 😉

    But I still can’t blame Netflix for canceling it.


    • From Vox’s “review”:

      Instead of talking about any individual news stories or laws — or, indeed, mentioning Trump by name at all — season two of One Day at a Time weaves the world into its family stories far more naturally, by showing how individual people are actually affected.

      And, crucially, it demonstrates a whole lot of empathy in doing so.

      Funniest show on television!


    • I usd to watch the original series because Bonnie Franklin rarely wore a bra.


    • I detest TV. I detest movies. I detest Hollywood. I watch sports with the sound off.

      I think the last TV series I watched was Hill Street Blues back in the day.


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