Morning Report: Initial Jobless Claims fall

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  Last Change
S&P futures 3555 -20.6
Oil (WTI) 41.83 0.41
10 year government bond yield   0.92%
30 year fixed rate mortgage   2.9%

Stocks are lower as COVID cases increase. Bonds and MBS are up


Initial Jobless Claims came in at 709,000 last week. While the trend is still going in the right direction, they are still at the highest levels ever recorded. Take a look at the chart below. The yellow highlighted area was the Great Recession


Inflation remains under control, at least according to the government statistics. The Consumer Price index was flat month-over-month in October and was up 1.2% on a year-over year basis. Ex-food and energy, prices were flat, and rose 1.6% YOY.


Jerome Powell will be speaking this afternoon. Probably won’t be market-moving, but nothing can be ruled out these days. The bond market has been volatile lately as positive vaccine news and negative COVID news battle it out.


Manhattan real estate prices and asking rent are falling, which could signal that it is turning the corner. Median effective rent fell 19% YOY to $2868, and leases are up 33%. FWIW, $2,868 sounds low to me. The young are supposedly moving back to Manhattan, but with the bars and restaurants shut, what is there to do?


2020 has been the year of the mortgage IPO. Loan Depot is the next to go public.

51 Responses

  1. Start stockpiling:

    “Biden adviser suggests that a 4- to 6-week national lockdown, eased by aid package, could control pandemic”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I look forward to watching the progressive meltdown over Trump withdrawing from Afghanistan too quickly.

    If this is really what he’s going to fight for on his way out the door, then I misjudged him and voted for the wrong candidate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am not surprised but also wasn’t hopeful that’s what he’d invest energy in on his way out. That being said, I voted for the Trump administration, and their orientation on these issues, not Trump specifically who is not the best advocate for these positions. At all.


  3. This seems definitive to me……correct me if I’m wrong. It’s time to turn over the reigns of power………….right?

    Top government security and election officials released a joint statement on Thursday definitively declaring that the presidential election last week “was the most secure in American history” and making clear that “there is no evidence” that any voting system was compromised in any way.

    The statement, attributed to a high-ranking official at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency — part of the Department of Homeland Security — along with several top elections officials, amounted to a strong rebuke of President Trump’s repeated baseless assertion that the election had been stolen from him through widespread voter fraud.

    In the statement, officials listed the many ways in which they said elections officials in states with close contests would recheck their counts and add “security and resilience” to their processes.

    “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” the statement said.

    “While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should, too,” officials added in their statement. “When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections.”

    The joint statement comes after Bryan Ware, the assistant director for cybersecurity at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, known as C.I.S.A., submitted his resignation on Thursday.

    Mr. Ware and other senior officials at C.I.S.A. had drawn the president’s ire because they did not echo his baseless claims that mail-in voting was rife with fraud. Other senior cybersecurity officials have told colleagues that they feared they had been put on lists of administration officials who would be fired after the election, according to two senior officials.

    They said the lists included officials such as the F.B.I. director Christopher Wray, who did not toe the president’s line on his false claims that Russian interference was a hoax, and Christopher C. Krebs, the C.I.S.A. director, who did not echo Mr. Trump’s claims that mail-in voting was not secure and could lead to fraud.

    The president’s anger at cybersecurity officials has escalated since last week, when C.I.S.A. put up a “rumor control” website meant to combat misinformation and ensure voters understood that any delays in the reporting of results were normal and not a sign of impropriety.


    • that is the left’s take, yes.

      is counting votes from dead people and illegal aliens something the cybersecurity guys would have anything to do with?

      and since the left was still litigating florida until 9/11, i don’t have a shred of sympathy.


      • Brent:

        …is counting votes from dead people and illegal aliens something the cybersecurity guys would have anything to do with?

        Exactly. The story is a classic straw man, arguing that there is no merit to claim X by debunking claim Y.

        “Claims that the deceased was murdered by poison were definitively refuted by top forensic pathologists who confirmed that there were no bullet wounds on the body.”


        • and given that that is their attack line, it tells me they are worried and i don’t believe a thing they say


    • All I can say is WOW you guys. It seems the disinformation campaign runs deep in this country.

      I give up.


      • pointing out a rhetorical gambit is debate 101. Has nothing to do with “disinformation” These guys are pretending to address the argument people are making.

        And speaking of disinformation, how long did the left push the russian collusion hoax?

        At the end of the day, this isn’t about Trump winning. He probably doesn’t at the end.

        This is about proving that voter fraud is real, and is done primarily in blue states.


        • But where is the proof? Have you found it yet? I think you guys have convinced yourselves, or someone has convinced you, of something that just doesn’t exist in any meaningful way. I’ve been doing what they suggested and following the state officials in various states, red and blue, and so far they all agree that it was a fair and secure election. At some point I have to find someone to believe but as always you’re entitled to your opinion. I’d like to see your facts though.

          Anywhoo………….I’m out for the foreseeable future, there doesn’t seem to be a point for me remaining here at this point. In any event I’ll be turning the domain over to Scott soon and I can just turn to more constructive things to do with my time.

          Wishing all of you the best that life has to offer.


        • We await your thanks to Trump for ensuring a free and fair election then, devoid, unlike his predecessor, of any foreign meddling.


        • Where is the proof?

          That is the point of discovery and an investigation.


      • lms:

        It seems the disinformation campaign runs deep in this country.

        That is certainly something we agree on!


    • Trump has the legal right to recounts in a few key states and to make challenges if his team thinks there is merit to them.

      But not doing transition is a separate issue.
      This is not a game. The transition team was vetted. There are no security problems if the transition moves along before the electoral college votes.

      We are experiencing nothing more than fits of pique from the low character POTUS when he orders no transition cooperation and fires the SecDef.
      Lankford and other R Senators are going to quickly come around on at least the national security portions of transition. Beyond the national security areas I am guessing JB can get 70% prepped on most stuff without Trump’s help. That does not excuse the pettiness and irresponsibility of the President.


      • You don’t think the bullshit the Obama team pulled re transition warrants the Trump team being careful? If not, why not?


      • It’s only been a week and an half. The transition in 2000 was delayed until December 14.

        My guess is that once the final results are actually certified it will proceed.

        And if Trump had been the presumptive winner and Democrats were the ones challenging the results in court with their staff of lawyers from their “election protection program” then the media would be on the opposite side.


    • “It’s time to turn over the reigns of power………….right?”

      Actually that’s January 20, 2021.


      • Mark, ignoring the other guys here who seem to find some merit in prolonging the results of the election based on no credible evidence………I have to say you were the one person here I could trust to give me the lowdown………….sorry to say, this is bullshit!

        Trump has the legal right to recounts in a few key states and to make challenges if his team thinks there is merit to them.

        Sure, but everyone knows there is no merit to them.

        See y’all later! Enjoy the echo chamber you’ve created!


        • FWIW, there has been no merit to them with the possible exception of setting aside late ballots in PA, which turned out to be not enough to be material. But when I say “if his team thinks there is merit…” I leave open the possibility of not prejudging. I believe in evidence, not news stories. As you wrote, all the state election officials said it was a clean election, so I am predisposed to think it was. But I would never deny an election contestant in advance of the presentation of evidence. You should see that as part of the American system of justice.
          “Everyone knows” is not part of the system of justice.

          I feel sorry for the junior associates who were told to bring the silly cases we have read about, btw. Their reps with the trial courts in which they practice have suffered and judges have long memories of lawyers who waste their time. Now that US Attorneys have reported to Barr that they find no credible reports of massive voting irregularities this matter is rapidly drawing to a conclusion, I think.


        • Mark:

          I believe in evidence, not news stories.

          Russian Collusion Hoax?


        • I never knew what was meant by the phrase “Russian collusion”, depending who was using it. If it meant cooperation with the campaign, there proved to be quite a bit, and I tended to believe the reports of cooperation. However, because that is not a crime, I was never going to have the satisfaction of evidence, one way or another. If it meant criminal conspiracy I did not buy the news stories. That required evidence. And I think there turned out to be no evidence of a broad criminal conspiracy. There was plenty of criminal misconduct, of course.


        • Mark:

          I never knew what was meant by the phrase “Russian collusion”, depending who was using it.

          How about when you were using it?

          Suppose the cover up is of Flynn brokering a campaign collusion deal with Russian government entities without direct proof of Trump’s involvement, but smell factor. I don’t know what happens then. Suppose the previous but Flynn rolls on Trump. That could do it.


        • I was supposing a conspiracy. But as a “what if”. It was, IIRC, in response to a hypothetical. There is no evidence, as it turns out, that Flynn brokered any sort of conspiracy.


        • Mark:

          Their reps with the trial courts in which they practice have suffered and judges have long memories of lawyers who waste their time.

          With the fascist left now culturally ascendant, that is the least of their worries:


        • lms:

          See y’all later! Enjoy the echo chamber you’ve created!

          Not sure whether it is a lack of self-awareness, or just pure gaslighting. But certainly one or the other.


        • It’s not an echo chamber we “created”. This naturally occurs pretty much everywhere because when given a choice that’s what the vast majority of humans do—look for reinforcement of their positions.

          Those who aren’t getting the reinforcement eventually leave a shared environment with no other incentive to stay. CNN is an echochamber. Fox was one kind of echo chamber now transitioning to another kind. NYT is an echo chamber. Recent employee rebellion was about making it more of an echo chamber.

          What humans do. Academia is an echo chamber. Plumline is an echo chamber. Where is there not an echo chamber? I’m all for it but it’s very very hard to find. I’ve looked.

          That being said I’m all for doing whatever can be done to rout out fraud or incompetence or glitchy computer systems out of the voting process. Gore played the Trump role in 2000 and the net result was Florida mostly got their electoral shit together. I think that’s a positive outcome.

          “Everyone knows there’s no merit to them” is inaccurate. I personally don’t believe he can possibly flip the result but I strongly believe there is merit to them. There are a lot of others who believe and probably “know” there is merit to them as much as others “know” there is not.

          I have a hard time seeing how anybody can look at the processes that took place and say “oh that’s fine and super-secure and totally legit”—but o get that people do.

          That said I think a spotlight needs to be shown on these states with weird and unexplained voting irregularities—and I think it ends with Biden winning and Trump losing but maybe some of these states get better processes.


        • KW:

          It’s not an echo chamber we “created”.

          I actually don’t think what we have here is an echo chamber at all. But that aside, echo chambers come into existence in one of two ways. Either those with views contrary to prevailing opinions are prevented from expressing them (think CNN, NYT, etc) or those with contrary views to prevailing opinions choose not to express them. And it seems to me that if one is choosing not to express one’s own contrary views in a place where one is perfectly free to do so, it is pretty silly to then complain about the existence of an echo chamber, since it is one’s very own choice that is creating it.

          Anyone who has departed ATiM claiming it is because it is an “echo chamber” is just fooling themselves. Far more likely is that they are leaving because they are disappointed that their own views aren’t the main “echo”.


        • I don’t think echo chambers are the best description—but also not the worst one. I probably agree with all of you more on various issues to greater or lesser degrees because of arguments made and information presented. In that sense, you do get an “echo” chamber when people with a near degree can talk rationally and disagree rationally and occasionally influence the other.

          I think some sort of spectrum comparison would be more accurate but less pithy. People tend to group in clusters where everyone around them is with about 15 degrees of themselves (or some arbitrary number). So when someone joins that is 40 degrees outside, they may lose interest or leave in disgust. This after some arbitrary point you lose most people outside of a range.

          Even this is imperfect, as the spectrum is multidimensional and can allow for a lot of disagreement in the 30 degree range. And it’s important how people identify themselves—a sports nut can overlook the politics of a fellow sports nut, but not someone who is politically aligned but supports the wrong sports team. Though again, simplistic.

          My main point is and was that what we call “echo chambers” is a natural human social behavior that is unique to no group or ideology, nor is anyone immune. So there is a comforting story we tell about “echo chambers” of others being unique to their flawed belief systems, but in fact it is people being people.

          There are often outliers or those who seek to challenge themselves, but in general … most discussion groups become “echo chambers” through attrition or ejection. Because people.


        • Kev, there have not been any weird and unexplained irregularities. None. That is what has been revealed in every court proceeding.

          But two things you wrote are more important.

          1] It is OK to pursue investigating the appearance of “stuff”, even if it all falls apart.

          2] Our election system is not secure in all the ways the Baker-Carter group found in 2005. Both parties seemed to not want to do anything about it, although I was under the mistaken impression these had been mainly addressed.


        • Mark:

          Kev, there have not been any weird and unexplained irregularities. None. That is what has been revealed in every court proceeding.

          Most of the court proceedings that I am aware of have related to challenges to changes in voting rules, for example the extension of deadlines with regard to curing faulty absentee ballots. Which court proceedings have determined that no weird or unexplained irregularities have occurred?


        • Excerpts from three of around a dozen cases alleging irregularities and then failing to show any such thing:

          In Arizona, a judge dismissed a Trump campaign lawsuit seeking the inspection of ballots in metro Phoenix after the campaign’s lawyers acknowledged the small number of ballots at issue wouldn’t change the outcome of how the state voted for president.

          By the end of the hearing, the Trump campaign lawyer had admitted, contrary to his initial complaint, that observers for the campaign were in the room to watch ballot canvassing in Philadelphia.
          When the judge pressed the Trump campaign lawyer on if there were observers in the room from the campaign, the lawyer, Jerome Marcus, said: “There’s a non-zero number of people in the room.”

          A poll watcher for the party allegedly viewed unprocessed absentee ballots mixed in with absentee ballots that were set to be tabulated in Savannah. But taking the stand, admitted she had not seen any such thing. Lawyer presented a slip with two numbers written on it, but did not have witness who could testify he had written it or what it meant.

          There are several more. Not attacking procedure, but alleging fraud and/or irregularity but then having no evidence to support it at all. In Federal Court these cases would violate Rule 11.


        • Those that I am aware from the mysterious stops to vote counting that weren’t generally expected or warned of—one of which was apparently blamed on a non-existent burst pipe while the others just happened—it’s weird. The explanation I’ve seen for the suddenly gigantic spike in Biden votes—all at once—is not one I find satisfactory or particularly credible. Why would that happen? Why only for Biden? Why would there be some huge collection of Biden votes after everything had been believably distributed—but also no such jump for Trump?

          And there’s more! The demonstrated “glitch” of of Dominion software flipping Trump votes to Biden votes—that it was a “glitch” is not an explanation, it’s a vague declarative at best.

          So. I’m not satisfied these contentious states, outside of Arizona, we’re running their elections at anything like maximum integrity or accuracy.

          Which doesn’t mean Trump didn’t lose. I’m sure he did. And I’m not saying that any of these irregularities make good court cases. They probably don’t, I wouldn’t know. But as a layperson I do know the seem Florida-2000-level sloppy or worse compared to Florida 2020 and I think having the spotlight on their performance is a net positive.

          Plenty of these places have Republicans in some form or fashion responsible for their problematic voting strategies. So it’s not a partisan thing. It’s just how things look.

          The best outcome is that they have attention focused on the irregularities or even the appearance of irregularities and are motivated to clean house thereby. Florida was.


        • Also I should say I agree that both parties are to blame for this state of affairs. If I wasn’t clear, I don’t think the insecurity or issues with our elections is party-specific. Although it’s clear some states have a better handle on it than others.


      • That much is obvious JNC, but the next 8 or 9 weeks are important! Bush and Obama both facilitated a smooth transition………….so what exactly is your point?

        Enjoy the Biden slamming for the next 4 years, maybe Trump will come back, you never know right?


        • and Obama both facilitated a smooth transition………….

          Now that’s funny!

          Liked by 1 person

        • “Our staffs have been getting along very well, and I’m getting along very well with him,” he said, “other than a couple of statements that I responded to and we talked about it and smiled about it and nobody is ever going to know because we are never going to be going against each other.”

          DJT, December, 2016.

          Transition funding and access began 10 AM the morning after the election.


        • The spying began at least 4 months before that.


        • lms:

          …but the next 8 or 9 weeks are important!

          Are they?

          Here in the UK, when a new Prime Minister is elected, the “transition” to the new government usually takes literally one day. Usually the day after an election, the new Prime Minister is officially accepted by the Queen, and he/she moves into 10 Downing Street that day. When Labor lost the election in 2010, they had an “extended” transition because David Cameron had to form a coalition government. It took 6 days.

          Recall that in the US there is a gigantic, permanent executive branch apparatus that, as we have especially learned these last 4 years (for good or ill), operates largely independently of the President. So I wouldn’t fret too much about any “transition” being delayed by the fact that we don’t have an official and agreed upon outcome yet.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I voted for Biden, but I have grown tired of the perpetual state of outrage whenever it’s Trump doing something, and the complete lack of outrage if it was a Democrat doing the same things.

          The Biden campaign was fully prepared to challenge everything in court if the votes had gone the other way and everyone would be cheering them on if they had done so.

          I think all of this stuff will be played out within a week and the transition will happen just fine, albeit with Trump still whining and complaining like always.

          Liked by 1 person

    • This seems definitive to me……correct me if I’m wrong. It’s time to turn over the reigns of power………….right?
      Top government security and election officials released a joint statement on Thursday definitively declaring that the presidential election last week “was the most secure in American history” and making clear that “there is no evidence” that any voting system was compromised in any way.

      You gotta admit, that sounds like the Trump campaign taking about the 2016 election, and that wouldn’t seem so credible to his critics … because it’s not. It wasn’t in 2016 and it isn’t in 2020.

      Trump almost certainly lost but the idea “this was the most secure election ever” just sounds like pure propaganda. It’s not an assertion I would find trustworthy from “top experts” no matter who won. Especially given everything else I’ve seen around the election.

      This approaches legit gaslighting—it’s crazy making on a dysfunctional relationship level, IMO.

      I can’t believe more folks don’t object to the narrative-shaping adjectives that consume the coverage of the story. “Baseless” “untrue” “without evidence” “most secure” “completely expected”. The reader-manipulation level is exceptionally high. And irksome.

      But I supposed we moved to where all former news and reportage has been replaced by voluntary propaganda organs.


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