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Jobless Claims Jump to 853K; AirBNB (ABNB) Goes Public

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Last week at this time, we had thought we’d caught a break in a negative trend in weekly Initial Jobless Claims. This week, however, it would appear we’re not so lucky: 853K new jobless claims registered last week, 137K higher than the upwardly revised 716K from the previous week, and notably higher than the 730K expected. This is the highest single-week total of new claims since September 18th, and the highest single-week jump in new claims since April.

Continuing Claims also rose week over week, from a downwardly revised 5.37 million three weeks ago to 5.76 million in this latest read from two weeks ago (Continuing Claims report a week in arrears from Initial Claims). This week-over-week change has upended the lower sloping trend we’d seen for the past few months; what’s bad about longer-term claims suddenly going up is that it may indicate a glut in longer-term layoffs. Previous to this latest read, Continuing Claims would simply switch platforms to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

These numbers are not good. They are especially troubling in light of PUA benefits expiring the day after Christmas, and little-to-no interest in providing wide-ranging relief for American families via congressional act; what activity there does seem to be involves protection of liability for companies sending their employees back to work and potentially exposing them to Covid-19. So far, there is no agreement on household aid re PUA or other relief initiatives.

We also see new Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures this morning: both headline and core (ex-volatile food and energy prices) for November came in at +0.2%, 10 basis points higher than expected. These were both off 0.0% reads initially reported a month ago, so we are seeing steady growth in consumer pricing. Year over year, headline CPI is at +1.2% and core +1.6% — tepid growth, but growth nevertheless. CPI figures are now well higher than they had been pre-pandemic, a year ago.

Following DoorDash’s (DASH) highly successful IPO yesterday, online vacation rental marketplace AirBNB (ABNB) is going public today. The initial listing price of $68 per share is already well ahead of original pricing estimates from back when AirBNB first announced its intention to be publicly traded on the Nasdaq index. The company counts 4 million hosts with 5.6 million active listings. The company is now valued at $47 billion, fully diluted. If it manages to follow in DoorDash’s footsteps, it stands to have a very good day today.

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