Morning Report: Big jump in jobs

Vital Statistics:

 

Last Change
S&P futures 3327 23.25
Oil (WTI) 50.88 1.02
10 year government bond yield 1.65%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 3.68%

 

Another “risk-on” day as stock markets rally overnight and bonds get sold. MBS are performing a touch better than the 10 year.

 

Mortgage applications hit a six year high last week, which included an adjustment for the MLK holiday. The index rose 5% while refis increased 15%. The refi index is up 183% from the same week a year ago. Purchases fell 10%. “The 10-year Treasury yield fell around 20 basis points over the course of last week, driven mainly by growing concerns over a likely slowdown in Chinese economic growth from the spread of the coronavirus. This drove mortgage rates lower,” said Joel Kan, MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Refinance activity jumped as a result, with an increase in the number of applications and a spike in the average loan amount, as homeowners with jumbo loans reacted more resoundingly to lower rates.”

 

ADP reported that payrolls increased by 291,000 last month, a huge jump from December, which was revised upward from 139,000 to 202,000. The Street is looking for an increase of 158,000 nonfarm payrolls in Friday’s jobs report, so that number appears to be too low. There was a pretty big increase in construction workers as it looks like homebuilders are eager to finally fulfill the pent-up demand for housing out there. It looks like the ADP number was the strongest in at least a year

 

ADP report

 

Home prices rose 0.3% MOM in December, and are up 4% on an annual basis according to CoreLogic.

32 Responses

  1. Nevertheless, he persisted.

    “Many of these claims have been fact-checked repeatedly, yet the president persists in using them.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/02/04/fact-checking-president-trumps-2020-state-union-address/

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    • There are several metrics one could look at, but the current economy falls short, according to experts we consulted.

      Huh. Well, if they consulted experts, I’m sure they weren’t biased. Some might have even been nobel prize winners!

      The unemployment rate reached a low of 3.5 percent under Trump, but it was as low as 2.5 percent in 1953

      Did we calculate unemployment the same in 1953? What percentage of the population were recent immigrants, first generation immigrants, farmers, rural, etc? That’s not an apples-to-apples comparison.

      Trump has never achieved an annual growth rate above 3 percent, but in 1997, 1998 and 1999, the gross domestic product grew 4.5 percent, 4.5 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively. But even that period paled against the 1950s and 1960s. Growth between 1962 and 1966 ranged from 4.4 percent to 6.6 percent. In 1950 and 1951, it was 8.7 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

      Again, fine, but it’s not apples-to-apples. The economic potential of the country was different in the earlier 60s and 50s. What was the sustained growth of that period? What was the source of growth numbers between 1997,1998, and 1999? Wasn’t a lot of that the tulip-mania of the dot-com-boom? What’s the equivalent to point to now?

      Trump constantly claims he passed the biggest tax cut in U.S. history, but that’s Four-Pinocchios false. The best way to compare tax cuts (or spending plans) over time is to measure them as a percentage of the national economy. The Trump tax cut, according to Treasury Department data, is nearly 0.9 percent of GDP — compared with 2.89 percent of GDP for Ronald Reagan’s 1981 tax cut, the actual largest tax cut. When measured as a share of the U.S. economy, Trump’s tax cut is the eighth-largest in the past century.

      And–in this fact checking–I’m waiting for them to indicate the real cash value of this tax cut? Because that’s definitely another way to determine the size of a tax cut. Waiting. Waiting.

      “Since my election, we have created 7 million new jobs.”
      Trump often inflates the number of jobs created under his presidency by counting from Election Day, rather than when he took the oath of office. There have been almost 6.7 million jobs created since February 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

      Well, okay. What an outrageous falsehood. And from a politician, no less.

      “The unemployment rate for disabled Americans has reached an all-time low.”
      The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported this rate since 2008, so it’s a big stretch to call it an “all-time low.” The rate was 7 percent in December.

      They did not go over Obama’s claims with this kind of fine-tooth comb. Or Clinton’s. Ever. So . . .

      And the rest seems just desperate to nitpick the rest of the claims into “falsehood”.

      I would not look to the State of the Union for factual reportage of raw facts but come on.

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      • well according to the left nut metric – i.e. obama would have given his left nut for this economy – trump is doing swimmingly.

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      • KW:

        I would not look to the State of the Union for factual reportage of raw facts but come on.

        Personally I am genuinely disappointed that the D’s even allowed Trump to deliver his SOTU in the House. If ever there was an ideal time to send a message by shunning tradition and snubbing the President, in the middle of an impeachment trial must surely be it, no? I was hopeful that the D’s wouldn’t allow it, and that this would set the stage for reciprocity with the next D president, and the next thing you know the tradition of allowing this tedious and useless dog and pony show would mercifully come to an end. Alas…

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    • That being said, I have definitely not seen any evidence of this: “Before I took office, health insurance premiums had more than doubled in just five years. I moved quickly to provide affordable alternatives. Our new plans are up to 60 percent less expensive.”

      Like

    • I am not positive, but I think trump may be the first president to weather a tightening cycle and not experience a recession.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Second comment.

    Good for him. He is still a filthy bastard

    https://m.dailykos.com/stories/1916872

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    • Mitt won them over! Next time he wins for sure!

      Like

      • KW:

        Mitt won them over! Next time he wins for sure!

        Obviously we can’t get inside Mitt’s head, but I assume it was just personal payback. I imagine that Romney hates Trump for all the personal shit said back in 2016.

        My one big criticism of the Trump base is that they cheer and laud him for his brash, no-holds barred style and for dispensing with the traditional niceties of politics, but then they get all outraged when other politicians react in-kind. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to go around insulting someone as “a loser” and then expect their loyalty later on.

        This, however, is extremely irritating…from Mitt’s explanation of his vote:

        Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.

        Spare me, please. You can honestly think that putting pressure on Ukraine to investigate the Biden/Burisma arrangement was wrong, an abuse of power, and even impeachable. But you can’t honestly think that it represents “corrupting an election”. If attempting to dig up dirt on an opposing candidate in order to discredit him and make your own election more likely is “corrupting an election”, then every election in our history has been “corrupted”. Adopting this absurd, left-wing/media establishment framing of the charges against Trump does far more to discredit Romney than does his meaningless vote to convict.

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        • My one big criticism of the Trump base is that they cheer and laud him for his brash, no-holds barred style and for dispensing with the traditional niceties of politics, but then they get all outraged when other politicians react in-kind.

          I tend to think It’s Okay If You’re On My Side (what I think should be the real definition of It’s Okay If You’re a Republican/Democrat, both of which I see a lot as an explanation for inconsistent responses to similar behaviors on both sides of the aisle).

          But I think you’re right, it was payback–although a weak payback with no consequence to Trump. My objection would be more that it is payback, and I don’t get any sense that it was an actual “vote of conscience”. Which I could be more supportive of, though I wouldn’t think much of it as a vote of conscience, either.

          Also, “the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office I can imagine”? Really? I kind of feel like using the IRS or other agencies to target citizens you disapprove of would be worse. Alien and Sedition acts: way worse. Suspending habeas corpus could be worse. Imprisoning your critics because they disagree with you, as Woodrow Wilson did, could certainly be worse. Authorizing a military attack to distract from your domestic woes, that could be considered worse. And I can imagine worse things than all of that!

          I’ve always thought Romney had a problem with sincerity. Nothing has changed that impression.

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    • the left adored McCain when he was a thorn in W’s side. once he ran against obama, he was literally. hitler.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’d be for allowing the Log Cabin Republicans to participate in any convention. For a lot of reasons.

      My suspicion is the longer it takes to enlarge the tent, the more liberal the folks getting into the tent will be when it finally does grow. But whatevs.

      Like

      • KW:

        My suspicion is the longer it takes to enlarge the tent, the more liberal the folks getting into the tent will be when it finally does grow.

        An excellent insight.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’d also venture the opinion that there is no better time to enlarge your tent than when the opposition is radically shrinking theirs. There are plenty of people who are only Democrats because they believe the Republicans don’t want or support “people like them”.

          There are trans people who are being called transphobic for believing biological gender is real and not something assigned to you at birth. They probably like tax cuts too. Can’t hurt to at least shake hands.

          But that’s just my opinion, I get why that makes some people uncomfortable.

          But a big tent encompasses groups that desire that planks be in a party’s platform that just aren’t going to be put in the platform. You might want gay marriage but these other groups don’t. So, no support of gay marriage as a party plank. But you all want tax cuts on small businesses. Work together on that.

          I get the fear of subversion. It’s a real risk. But you’re better off trying to assimilate on the front end than likely really getting subverted on the back end. IMO. Would have to be ever watchful.

          Speaking of which, if I were a multi-billionaire Koch-brother type wanting to advance conservatism, I’d be grooming candidates and infiltrating the Democrats left and right with centrist to center-right bluedogs. Run every campaign on big local issues. Provide funding and support where the party doesn’t. But I’m not! Alas.

          Like

  3. Joe Biden, on Rush:

    He doesn’t understand the American code of decency and honor.

    This really stings, coming from a guy who told a group of blacks that Mitt Romney wanted to put them all “back in chains”.

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    • “He doesn’t understand the American code of decency and honor,” Said Joe Biden, while giving a sixteen-year-old girl a back rub and deeply inhaling the sweet scent of her hair.

      Rush is a flawed human being, as are pretty much all human beings. But I think he has a better understanding of the American code of decency and honor than Biden.

      Like

    • Love him or loathe him, he pioneered the creation of non-liberal media. And the left has detested him since.

      Liked by 1 person

      • He also revived AM radio. He was about the only broadly available source of non-left news before the Internet. I haven’t listened to him in 15 years, but that’s basically because: Internet. Podcasts. Etc.

        He’s got lung cancer. He could potentially not have a lot of time left on earth. Let the guy have his medal.

        Sheesh, people. “He says things that I don’t agree with so HE’S THE DEVIL!”

        I got tired of his hyperbole early during the Obama administration so stopped even occasionally listening. But he just had different opinions about certain things than maybe I did. Which he is entitled to, and has earned a big audience by sharing. That people act like this guy is Hitler (or like Trump is Hitler) or anyone but Hitler is Hitler . . . eh, it’s confounding.

        I thought giving Obama the Nobel Peace Prize was really premature and bizarre, but generally I’m not going to fault anybody getting an award from some group that likes that person.

        Like

    • I don’t hate Rush, but I wouldn’t have given him the Presidential Medal of Freedom either.

      Like

      • jnc:

        I don’t hate Rush, but I wouldn’t have given him the Presidential Medal of Freedom either.

        I wouldn’t give it to at least half of the people who got it, but compared to Ted Kennedy or Joe Biden himself (to name just a couple)? On that standard Rush is fully deserving.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Let’s play the “Who is more deserving of a Presidential Medal of Freedom?” game:

          Rush or Robert “Fuck Trump” DeNiro (2016)?
          Rush or Barbara Streisand (2015)?
          Rush or Bruce Springsteen (2016)?
          Rush or Warren “Tax the rich while I shelter my own income” Buffet (2011)?
          Rush or Lorne Michaels (2016)?
          Rush or Gloria Steinam (2013)?
          Rush or Angela Merckel (2011)?
          Rush or Robert “architect of Vietnam” Macnamara (1968)?
          Rush or John Dingell (2014)?
          Rush or Barbara Mikulski (2015)
          Rush or Joe Biden (2017)?
          Rush or Ted “I tried to save her” Kennedy (2009)?

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        • @scottc1: DeNiro (2016)?
          Rush or Barbara Streisand (2015)?
          Rush or Bruce Springsteen (2016)?
          Rush or Warren “Tax the rich while I shelter my own income” Buffet (2011)?
          Rush or Lorne Michaels (2016)?
          Rush or Gloria Steinam (2013)?

          That speaks to exactly what the Presidential Medal of Freedom is. Something a president (or his administration) awards to somebody that they think is awesome and on The Right Side of History and so on. It’s not a reward for an objective measurement of anything.

          By the standards previously used, Rush deserves one, hands down. But not Hannity. He gets grating.

          Just kidding. Whoever the president wants to give a Presidential of Medal Freedom by definition deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Because that’s basically what it is–an award for being someone the president wants to give a medal to.

          Like

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