Other News

Companies struggling to fill jobs ‘should try paying more,’ Fed’s Kashkari says

Companies should try digging in their pockets if they’re looking to find workers for unfilled jobs, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said Tuesday. With the unemployment rate falling to its lowest level in 49 years, there are nearly 1 million more job openings than available workers, according to the Labor Department. Even though payrolls have been growing at a solid clip, complaints persist from companies that they are having a hard time finding qualified workers to fill positions because of a skills gap. Kashkari, though, said he doesn’t completely buy the argument that there aren’t enough bodies out there. “I oftentimes hear businesses saying I just can’t find the workers that I need,” the central bank official said during a conference on immigr...

Trade war is ‘negative, negative, negative’ for business, investors and consumers, ITC says

The U.S. trade spat with China and other countries is having a negative impact on business decisions and passing on the cost to investors and consumers as a result, the leader of a top trade organization has said. “What I hear businesses say is that this is having an impact on the decisions they make, on the business decisions they make; that they are not making investment decisions because they fear that the turbulence is too high,” Arancha Gonzalez, executive director of the International Trade Center, told CNBC’s Joumanna Bercetche on Tuesday. “I hear small businesses saying they have to absorb costs that are going to mean a lot for their bottom line simply because there is no way they can pass this onto consumers and then I hear other companies saying we are pas...

Don’t blame Monday’s market rout entirely on Apple. Global growth and the Fed are issues

The market is boxed in due to the problems with global growth and the Federal Reserve. Monday’s decline in tech stocks cannot be blamed exclusively on Apple. Lumentum, one of Apple’s facial recognition suppliers, reduced its outlook for the quarter, citing a reduced shipment request from one of its biggest customers, which everyone assumes is Apple. Other Apple suppliers, such as Qorvo, Cirrus Logic, and Jabil, were also weak. But the fact that all the FANG names were down 2 percent to 3 percent, and the industrial and energy sectors were down 1.5 percent each, points to a bigger problem. Domestic growth seems strong, but the global growth picture in Europe and China is generally weaker. That’s one reason all the high valuation stocks (FANG) are getting taken down. The ta...

Wholesale inventories gain slightly more than expected in September

U.S. wholesale inventories gained slightly more than estimated in September. The Commerce Department said that wholesale inventories rose 0.4 percent in September, better than the 0.3 percent gain expected by economists surveyed by Refinitiv. Wholesale inventories gained 0.9 percent in August, the biggest gain for the measurement since November 2016. This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

Consumer sentiment tops expectations in November, stays on pace for best year since 2000

A preliminary reading on consumer sentiment for November released on Friday came in slightly above expectations. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index hit 98.3. Economists polled by Refinitiv expected the preliminary read to come in at 98, slightly below an October print of 98.6. “Consumer sentiment remained virtually unchanged in early November from its October reading,” Richard Curtin, chief economist for the Surveys of Consumers, said in a statement. “The stability of consumer sentiment at high levels acts to mask some important underlying shifts. Income expectations have improved and consumers anticipate continued robust growth in employment, but consumers also anticipate rising inflation and higher interest rates.” The Federal Reserve kept...

US wholesale prices jump 0.6% in Oct, the most in 6 years

U.S. wholesale prices rose by the most in six years last month, led higher by more expensive gas, food, and chemicals. The Labor Department said Friday that the producer price index — which measures price increases before they reach the consumer — leapt 0.6 percent in October, after a smaller 0.2 percent rise in September. Producer prices increased 2.9 percent from a year earlier. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core wholesale prices rose 0.5 percent in October and 2.6 percent from a year earlier. Despite last month’s increase, the figures suggest inflation pressures are mostly in check. The year-over-year price increase is lower than it was in the summer, when it topped 3 percent. And oil prices declined in October, which will likely to lower gas costs in the comi...

US weekly jobless claims fall slightly to a 45-year low

New applications for U.S. unemployment fell slightly last week and the number of Americans receiving benefits remained at a 45-year low as strong labor market conditions continued. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 214,000 for the week ended Nov. 3, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was revised to show 215,000 claims received, which was 1,000 more than previously reported. The weekly claims were in line with predictions of economists polled by Reuters, who had forecast 214,000 people would file for benefits. The Labor Department said claims for North Carolina continued to be affected by Hurricane Florence, while Hurricane Michael impacted those for Florida and Georgia. Claims data for Massachusetts was esti...

Tax cuts have been controversial, but voters didn’t seem to care about them

Voters in the midterm elections felt neither tremendously motivated by the 2017 tax cuts nor had their lives been changed much by them, according to NBC News exit polls. Among those interviewed after voting Tuesday, some 45 percent said the tax cuts had no impact on their personal finances. In terms of how it affected their midterm election vote, there was no direct question on taxes, but just 22 percent listed the economy as their top priority. More cared about health care (41 percent) and immigration (23 percent). Responses did, however, shift sharply along party lines, with 84 percent of Republicans saying the new tax laws helped their personal finances against just 15 percent of Democrats. By the same token, 83 percent of Democrats said the cuts hurt their finances vs. just 15 percent ...

Healthcare topped the economy as the biggest issue for voters now, here’s why

Healthcare was the top issue for Americans voting in Tuesday’s midterm elections — for an understandable reason. Spending on medical care has skyrocketed in the past 20 years, hitting record levels in 2018 and weighing on both workers and employers. More U.S. voters cited it as their top concern on the ballot, ahead of the economy or any other issue, for the first time in at least a decade, according to exit polls by NBC News. Forty one percent of those polled cited healthcare as their top issue, followed by immigration at 23 percent. Roughly 70 percent of all voters, Democrat and Republican, said that the U.S. healthcare system needs “major changes” while only 4 percent said it needed no changes at all. Spending on medical care is the highest it has ever been. The United...

A new cold war is brewing between China and the US, says former Treasury Secretary Paulson

A new cold war is brewing between China and the U.S. if both nations don’t take steps toward reconciliation, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson warned in a speech that painted a bleak picture of the future between the two sides. In remarks delivered Tuesday, Paulson, who helped guide the nation out of the financial crisis and also served as Goldman Sachs CEO, warned that “big parts of the global economy will ultimately be closed off to the free flow of investment and trade” should the impasse continue. “And that is why I now see the prospect of an Economic Iron Curtain — one that throws up new walls on each side and unmakes the global economy, as we have known it,” he said at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum. Washington and Beijing have been involved in an...

Mortgage applications drop to 4-year low as interest rates hit 8-year high

Rising interest rates are now clearly taking their toll on potential homebuyers. Total mortgage application volume fell 4 percent last week from a week earlier and plunged 16 percent from a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. Mortgage applications to purchase a home led the volume lower, falling 5 percent for the week to the lowest level in two years. Purchase applications were 0.2 percent lower than a year ago. “Housing supply has been quite constrained for several years. As a result, the housing market has been out of whack, with home prices increasing at twice the rate of income growth,” said Michael Fratantoni, the MBA’s chief economist. “That was not sustainable.” Rising interest rates are now weakeni...

Gridlock in Washington won’t be good for a stock market thirsty for more tax cuts and spending

I can’t be the only person who has a problem with the consensus on the election and the markets. The consensus view is that the Democrats will take the House and the Republicans will keep control in the Senate, and that this combination will be good for stocks because gridlock is traditionally good for stocks. Bank of America’s comment on the topic is a good example of the current thinking: It says stocks could surge 12 percent on Washington gridlock. It’s true that gridlock often has been good for stocks, but it’s not clear it will be this time around. Remember, much of the benefit to stocks in the last two years has come because we were not in a gridlocked environment. That’s how the tax cuts got through. So, for the last two years, stocks have risen because...