Initial Claims

There has very slight slight improvement in initial claims for six weeks.

For the weeks ending August 29, September 5, September 12, September 17, September 26, and October 3 there were 884,000, 893,000, 866,000, 873,000, 849,000, and 840,000 seasonally-adjusted claims respectively according to the Department of Labor.

Given margins of error on seasonally adjusted data there has been essentially no progress for six weeks.

Continued Claims

Continued State Unemployment Claims in 2020 October 7 Report

Continued claims lag initial claims by a week.

For the weeks ending August 29, September 5, September 17, and September 26, there were 13,554,000, 12,747,000, 12,747,000, 11,979,000, and 10,976,000 seasonally-adjusted claims respectively.

These numbers are continually revised.

The downward slope (pace of progress) has not changed since May. 

It’s continued state claims that determine the official unemployment rate, not that anyone of intelligence believes the BLS number.

All Continued Claims

All Continued Claims in 2020 Oct 7 Report

All Continued Claims are not seasonally adjusted. They also lag initial claims by two weeks and continued claims by a week.

The total for the latest week is 25.5million. This should realistically feed the U-6 unemployment rate but it doesn’t.

California Fraud

Bloomberg Econoday has this interesting blurb regarding California.

California is now offline when it comes to claims data as it scrambles to limit unemployment fraud. With the weekly estimate for the US’s largest state now frozen at a prior level of more than 260,000, forecasters see total initial claims easing slightly but not substantially to 819,000 in the October 3 week. This would compare with 837,000 in the prior week that saw only a small decline.

California unemployment fraud, who couldda possibly thunk that? 

Does fraud stop in California or is it pervasive?

Mish

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(Reuters) – The pace of mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. oil and gas sector during the third quarter tied with the first quarter for the worst in a decade, according to data released on Monday, as most shale producers remain reluctant to spend after an oil price crash this year.

U.S. crude prices are lower by about a third from the start of the year, as the COVID-19 pandemic has hammered fuel demand and forced oil companies to focus on preserving cash to survive the downturn instead of boosting production.

Energy consultancy Enverus said just 28 deals with a disclosed value were signed during July-September.

However, the total value of these deals, at about $21 billion, was 19.4% higher than a year earlier, helped by oil major Chevron Corp’s

purchase of Noble Energy Inc

and Devon Energy Corp’s

merger with WPX Energy Inc

.

Enverus valued those two mergers at $18.63 billion, almost 90% of the total deal value.

“There is a broad consensus that consolidation is a net positive for the industry… but it can be a challenge to find the right asset and balance sheet fits for accretive deals,” said Andrew Dittmar, senior M&A analyst at Enverus.

“It may take several more years for consolidation to play out.”

While there is potential for more deals this year, a pickup in activity would need higher commodity prices and new capital inflows, according to Enverus, but traditional sources of funding like private equity firms have become reluctant to participate.

Companies with manageable debt loads are likely to be the focus of mergers while heavily indebted companies are “being left to find their own way, resulting in a spate of Chapter 11 filings,” Dittmar added.

Among the largest shale producers to walk down the bankruptcy path during the third quarter

Stocks tumbled Friday after President Donald Trump and the first lady tested positive for the coronavirus and the U.S. added fewer jobs in September than forecasts predicted.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average barely rose 0.02%, to 27,794, the S&P 500 declined 0.62% and the Nasdaq dropped 1.92%.

TheStreet’s Katherine Ross discussed breaking news in the stock market on Street Lightning. Cramer spoke about job recovery in the U.S., the stimulus package and Amazon.

Jobs Recovery Past Forgiveness Period

U.S. employers added fewer-than-expected new jobs last month, data from the Labor Department confirmed Friday, as hiring slowed sharply from August amid new layoffs and a broader economic slowdown linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

The net new job total rose by 661,000 and the unemployment rate was at 7.9%. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting a payroll gain of 800,000 and the unemployment rate to fall to 8.2% from 8.4% in August, CNBC reported.

Cramer said these numbers are a recognition that we are through the forgiveness period. Cramer added that we are now going to see a mixture of people being hired by Amazon, Walmart and Costco along with those who lost their jobs for no reason like a waiter, bartender, etc.

Stimulus Package May Find a Path

On CNBC, the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump’s COVID-19 prognosis changes the dynamics of aid talks with Republicans, leading her to believe lawmakers will eventually reach a deal. She also issued a statement asking airlines to hold off on furloughs and firings as Congress works on an aid package for the industry.

Cramer said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is under no instructions to give a deal. The deal that Speaker Pelosi wants includes massive aids for the states. President Trump has historically not offered a deal that gives states that