Weekly Update - October 19, 2017
“Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing”. ~Warren Buffett
Winter is coming. No, not the Night King and the White Walkers from Game of Thrones. Heating costs will increase in double-digit range this winter, thanks largely to colder weather and higher energy costs. US Energy Information Administration has forecasts that average household expenditures for all major home heating fuels will rise this winter because of expected colder weather and higher energy costs. Natural gas expenditures are forecast to rise by 12%, while home heating oil by 17%, electricity by 8%, and propane by 18%. Most of the increase reflects expected colder weather rather than higher energy costs, EIA said.
This Thursday was the 30th anniversary of Black Monday, Oct. 19, 1987, "the biggest single-day stock market collapse in history," and here is a Bloomberg Markets oral history of the event that somehow gets the phrase "volatility skews" into the third paragraph. Mr. Market took it in stride. It opened down and crawled back to close flat on the day. Positive movement.
In the week ending October 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 222,000, a decrease of 22,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 31, 1973 when it was 222,000. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 243,000 to 244,000. The 4-week moving average was 248,250, a decrease of 9,500 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 257,500 to 257,750. Below is a year to day chart of jobless claims.