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Some of Glacier National Parks glaciers have lost as much as 80% of their size in the last 50 years As far as the economy goes, we might want to start spelling pandemic with a K Swollen Diesel Stockpiles Threaten Oil Price Recovery
(Bloomberg) -- The oil market has a diesel problem and it’s not letting up.
While crude stockpiles in the U.S. are sitting at the lowest since April, supplies of distillates, which include diesel, heating oil and jet fuel, are continuing to swell and skyrocketed to the highest level for this time of year in U.S. government data going back to at least 1991. At the same time, demand for the fuel, often viewed as an economic barometer, is at the lowest since late July.
It’s a stubborn glut that is presenting a headache for refiners that need to meet demand for gasoline, but also require an outlet for the diesel that will inevitably be produced as they ramp up output. A lull in air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic has also caused jet fuel to pile up, contributing to the growing supply.
© Bloomberg The spread between WTI and diesel fell to the lowest in a decade
The result is brutal for companies trying to make money turning crude into gasoline and diesel. A key metric that measures diesel’s premium to West Texas Intermediate crude futures, known by traders as the diesel crack spread, plummeted to $6.56 a barrel after an Energy Information Administration report on Wednesday, the lowest since June 2010.
The slide in the crack is the “worst possible scenario for refiners,” Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities USA, wrote in a note.
Refiners have little incentive to run their plants harder in the wake of weak margins and record distillate inventories. It also doesn’t bode well for crude futures.
“If they don’t crank up the run rate, they will never burn off the crude oil overhang already in storage,” Yawger said. It’s “bearish for crude oil prices.”
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Senate passes spending bill to prevent government shutdown, sends it to Trump
The unemployment rate has never been this high going into an election
New York (CNN Business)Friday's jobs report will be the last look we get at the American labor market before the election. Economists expect an unemployment rate of 8.2% -- only slightly less than in August -- which would be the highest jobless rate on record (going back to World War II) as Americans head to the polls.
The US economy
has rebounded since the pandemic
lockdown in the spring when more than 22 million jobs vanished. But the recovery
has been uneven and the country is still far from being back to normal.Economists polled by Refinitiv predict the economy added
850,000 jobs in September, a sharp slowdown from the 1.4 million added in the month before and the millions more added over the summer. Even if this forecast comes true, the country would still be down 10.7 million jobs since February, before Covid-19 raged across the country.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' September jobs report is due on Friday at 8:30 am ET.The recovery is slowingRead MoreThough the economy rebounded sharply in the months following the spring lockdown, the recovery seems to be running out of steam.Economic indicators, such as retail sales or claims for jobless benefits, have been improving only gradually after bouncing back sharply in the spring.Meanwhile Covid infections are rising again and flu season is about to start. That could be a bad omen for the winter months, when outdoor activities that have helped restaurants and leisure businesses recover will likely decline again.And funds from the Paycheck Protection Program are running low for many small business owners that have already spent the money to help rehire employees and stay afloat. Experts think this could lead to more layoffs as the year comes to an end. That's why America could lose jobs in October -- 600,000 according to a forecast from Ian Shepherson, chief economist at Pantheon Macoreconomics -- as small business employment tumbles.The October jobs report will be published at the end of election week.Meanwhile, the government itself has a hand in the decline of job growth. The Census Bureau has been hiring temporary workers
for this year's official count for months, providing a tailwind for the labor market. Between July and August, the number of Census workers rose dramatically as the Bureau added 238,000 positions.But in September, the Bureau let 41,000 workers go. So after adding to the jobs totals during the late summer, Census hiring will be a drag in Friday's report.Worse conditions for workersThe September report will give us a glimpse at the labor market a full six weeks after the supplemental $600 weekly unemployment benefit that Congress created through the CARES Act expired.Given that millions of families relied on government aid to make ends meet during the pandemic, the benefit cut might have led to workers making impossible decisions between running out of money or potentially putting their families' health at risk."The jobs being added aren't the jobs that were lost, because we're still in an uncontrolled pandemic -- people are going back to worse-quality jobs without increased pay," said Kate Bahn, director of labor market policy and economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.A situation like that has a negative effect on wages, and that's not only bad news for workers but also for the economy."Without that upward pressure on wages, the tenuous recovery can only go so far," Bahn said. "We need people to spend more to stimulate the economy."We're reaching a point in the pandemic recession where the unique features of this crisis -- including the devastating effects on particular industries and the limitation of face-to-face contact -- converge with the perennial features of historical recessions, such as long-term unemployment, Bahn added.Over the past months, economists have been concerned about workers moving from the temporarily unemployed category into the permanently unemployed category.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has warned repeatedly that people who are out of work for longer are at risk to drop out of the labor force altogether.A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that the percentage of people transitioning into unemployment rose to the highest on record in July: 10.5%, with the trend most visible for workers over 45, those with a household income below $60,000 and women. The latter are two of the groups worst affected by this crisis.