Morning Report: Job openings rebound

Vital Statistics:


  Last Change
S&P futures 3406 6.6
Oil (WTI) 37.81 -0.24
10 year government bond yield   0.71%
30 year fixed rate mortgage   2.92%

Stocks are flattish this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are down.


Initial Jobless Claims were flat last week at 884k. Separately, there were 6.2 million job openings in the US, according to the JOLTs report. This was a big improvement which is at least one bright spot in the labor economy.


Inflation remains well below the Fed’s target according to the producer price index. The headline PPI rose 0.3% MOM and fell 0.2% YOY. The core numbers were up 0.3% MOM and 0.3% YOY. The Fed is sweating bullets about the low inflation numbers as they fear the US slipping into a Japanese-style deflationary stagnation.


New listings are up 7%, according to Redfin. Pending home sales are up 21% YOY and the median price is up 12% to $318,473. 47% of homes had an offer within two weeks – the fastest pace since 2012. What is going on? People are ringing the register as home prices rise. The demand was always there – the persistent issue in the housing market has been limited supply. The sale=to-listing ratio is 99%, and bidding wars are becoming the norm.


Problems for landlords: The National Multifamily Housing Council reported that only 75% of renters had made their September rent payment so far. In August, that number was 79%.

“The initial rent payment figures from September have begun to demonstrate the increasing challenges apartment residents are facing. Falling rent payments mean that apartment owners and operators will increasingly have difficulty meeting their mortgages, paying their taxes and utilities and meeting payroll,” said Doug Bibby, NMHC President. “The enactment of a nationwide eviction moratorium last week did nothing to help renters or alleviate the financial distress they are facing. Instead, it only is a stopgap measure that puts the entire housing finance system at jeopardy and saddles apartment residents with untenable levels of debt. Federal policymakers would have been better advised to continue to provide support as they successfully did through the CARES Act.”

It is possible that the Labor Day weekend is introducing some noise into these numbers, but the trend is a worrisome sign.


Mortgage Credit Availability continues to move south as originators find little appetite for jumbo loans. I wonder if the surprise 50 basis point LLPA affected things as well.

“Mortgage credit supply fell to its lowest level since March 2014, driven by a reduction in supply from both conventional and government segments of the market,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Additionally, both conforming and jumbo sub-indexes fell by almost 9 percent each, with the conforming index declining to the lowest reading since MBA’s series began in 2011. Credit continues to tighten because of uncertainty still looming around the health of the job market, even as other data on loan applications and home sales show a sharp rebound. A further reduction in loan programs with low credit scores, high LTVs, and reduced documentation requirements also continued to drive the overall decline in credit availability.”


25 Responses

  1. The downward path of news media began with CNN and the need to fill 24/7 with “entertaining news.”
    Cable 24/7 news forced the newspapers and news magazines to compete for the entertainment news dollars. And the blogs and twitter feeds made timeliness a matter of minutes and opinions a matter of shock value and accuracy a virtual relic.

    It is work to avoid wallowing in one place that affirms one’s own predispositions. But I think we are attempting that work. I know that some of you still read the PL comments, which I gave up on a very long time ago. I admire your perseverance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The first time I saw true dishonesty out of the media was 1992. Ross Perot got into it with Dick Gebhardt during some sort of Congressional hearing. CNN showed the exchange, which went

      Perot -> Gebhardt response -> applause.

      I saw the actual testimony on C-SPAN later on that night. It actually went

      Gebhardt -> Perot response -> applause.

      Also, the MSM was “fact checking” everything that GHWB was saying during the election, but allowed BC to constantly claim we were in a recession when it ended a year ago, with absolutely no “fact checking.”

      Now, it is just an everyday occurrence.


    • Apparently the new NBC Peacock streaming network is doing a documentary about the time that Harry Belafonte guest hosted the Tonight Show for a week in 1968.

      Mark, do you remember that?

      Separate write up from The Nation.


      • I knew it happened and I heard people talk about it but I never watched the Tonight show in that decade, In fact, I did not have a TV in 1968.

        From 9/67 I had my first job as an asst DA and I either had a lot of work or a little time for live music with friends, or for UT sports events or for women or softball with lawyers and journalists on Sunday. Never occurred to me to have a TV. I did have a radio, a phonograph, and a telephone, and a car with air conditioning and a V8 with a Carter 4bbl carb and a 4sp manual tranny. The car had an AM radio. I had a battery driven electric shaver that I often used in the car in the morning on my way to work. I owned a blue blazer, gray and khaki chinos, a navy suit, a charcoal suit, and a grey pinstripe suit. I owned 7 white shirts. Plenty of jeans, boots, and sweatshirts. I had everything and wanted nothing. Certainly not a TV. Also, my career was interrupted by my brief time at Navy OCS after I flunked my Army physical because of my old HS back injury. I figured I could swim with a pack even if I could not march with one. I was honorably discharged from Newport Naval Hospital about a month after I reported for OCS. A lot of stuff happened that year without me.

        Liked by 1 person

    • “I know that some of you still read the PL comments, which I gave up on a very long time ago. I admire your perseverance.”

      More like masochism at this point. The multiple sock puppets and constant lying by various posters about other people’s positions finally killed it for me.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I disagree Mark, the downward spiral started with the concept of Objective Journalism. Once someone thinks they can take their biases out of a piece they’re writing they slant it unconsciously. At least I think it’s unconscious. I preferred yellow journalism as you know their biases ahead of time.


      • When did Objective Journalism start? If it was after 1984 news as entertainment with no serious fact checking came first.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think there’s a place for objective journalism, practiced with some form of discipline and accountability. That just doesn’t seem to be a thing people are in to. I understand folks will have their biases but the modern media basically ignores world events, is in the back pocket of political activists, lobbyists, and politicians–and of course various mega-corporations–and can’t get even basic stuff right. Then intentionally reverses stuff (like the Perot–>Gephardt example Brent gave). There’s a difference between unconscious bias (which is real and unavoidable) and laziness, ignorance, and incompetence added to bias–and also viewing journalism as both an elite class that gives journalists privileges unavailable to others, but also a mission to change the world, not attempt to report newsworthy facts to the general public.


      • I think the bigger problem today is the desire to fit everything into a narrative. The last season of the Wire covered this well. The media can’t just report what happened anymore. They have to tell you what it means and how you are supposed to feel about it.

        I was actually reading some of the articles from 1945 as part of a retrospective on the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, and the quality of the writing was dramatically better.

        The local paper here was reprinting the equivalent front page every day from 1945 until some people took offense at how the Japanese were portrayed and got it canceled. I found it particularly interesting reading about the period between VE & VJ day.


        • I think the bigger problem today is the desire to fit everything into a narrative.

          Makes lots of anonymous Walter Winchells or Drew Pearsons? Lowell Thomases and Fulton Lewises? Paul Harveys? The line between reportage and commentary was clearer in the past.


  2. Someone needs to take the old Black and White photos of Jim Crow segregation and photoshop the “Whites Only” signs to “Non-POC”.



    called it. the second trump gets nominated, the prize is ruined and needs to be canceled.


  4. Worth noting:

    “Emboldened on an international stage, the Taliban begins first official peace talks with the Afghan government”


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