Jobless filings rose last week; continuing claims hit highest since February
Jobless claims increased last week amid Federal Reserve efforts to cool the economy and in particular the labor market.
First-time filings for unemployment benefits totaled 225,000 for the week ended Dec. 24, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That was an increase of 9,000 from the previous week and slightly above the 223,000 estimate from Dow Jones.
Longer-term, continuing claims, which run a week behind the headline number, jumped to 1.71 million, an increase of 41,000 to the highest level since early February.
The numbers this time of year are always noisy due to the holidays. Claims not adjusted for seasonal factors surged by 23,146, a 9.3% increase.
Stocks making the biggest moves premarket
These are the stocks making the biggest moves before the bell:
- Tesla – Tesla rallied 4.4% in the premarket after posting its first rise in eight sessions Wednesday, softening the blow to its stock in what will still be the worst year ever for Tesla shares.
- Cal-Maine Foods – Cal-Maine slid 4.9% in premarket trading after its quarterly earnings came in below Wall Street forecasts. Cal-Maine reported record sales for the quarter.
- Apple – Apple is up 1% in premarket trading after closing Wednesday at a 1-1/2 year low. Apple is down 29% for 2022.
Check out the full list for more Thursday early morning movers.
— Peter Schacknow, Tanaya Macheel
New active ETF takes aim at the booming battery market
Electric vehicle stocks may have cooled in 2022, but the options for investors to play the trend are continuing to grow with the arrival of the Element EV, Solar & Battery Materials (Lithium, Nickel, Copper, Cobalt) Futures Strategy ETF.
The fund, which is set to begin trading on Thursday, carries a management fee of 0.95% and will trade on the NYSE Arca under the ticker “CHRG.” The fund will buy and sell futures and related products on minerals and metals that are vital for electric vehicles.
Element Funds was co-founded by Goldman Sachs veteran Will McDonough, and the portfolio management team will include fellow co-founders John Raymond and John Calvert from Energy & Minerals Group, a Houston-based private equity firm with $13 billion in assets.
The fund’s active strategy sets it apart from the the KraneShares Electrification Metals Strategy ETF, which launched in October and tracks the Bloomberg Electrification Metals Index. That fund has performed well so far but has thin trading volume and less than $30 million in assets under management.
“This is not something you can play passively. Battery technology is maturing daily,” McDonough said, adding that the portfolio will be adjusted on a monthly basis.
In addition to lithium futures, the fund will also trade in other metals, with an emphasis on copper, said McDonough, who is also the CEO of Element Funds .
“The demand for copper in any electric vehicle of any kind is over 2x what it is in a traditional car. People want to talk about the lithium story — this is as much a copper story as it is a lithium story,” McDonough said.
Outside of Goldman Sachs, McDonough’s career includes stints at Marc Lasry’s Avenue Capital as a wealth manager for professional athletes, including Tom Brady, and as a blockchain entrepreneur.
— Jesse Pound
European markets slip as caution abounds to end the year
European markets retreated on Thursday as caution returned to global stocks, with investors assessing a number of likely headwinds in 2023.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 0.5% in early trade, with food and beverage stocks shedding 1% to lead losses as almost all sectors and major bourses slid into the red.
The European blue chip index began Thursday’s session down more than 12% for the year.
– Elliot Smith
CNBC Pro: Tesla or Rivian? The pros predict what 2023 will look like for the two stocks
It’s been a tumultuous year for electric vehicle stocks, and two investor favorites, Tesla and Rivianhave been no exception.
What will the year ahead look like for both stocks? CNBC Pro spoke to analysts and trawled through Wall Street research to find out.
CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.
— Weizhen Tan
CNBC Pro: Tech is ‘down but by no means out’ — watch these stocks in 2023, fund manager says
It’s been a bad year for tech companies, and many investors have been wondering when tech stocks will rebound.
Tech fund manager Jeremy Gleeson of AXA Investment Managers told CNBC Pro Talks last week that he still believes in the sector.
He explains why and names the stocks to buy.
CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.
— Weizhen Tan
All 11 sectors in the S&P 500 are down for the week and the month
The 11 sectors of the S&P 500 suffered during regular trading on Wednesday, dragged by energy companies.
Notable decliners in the energy sector include EQT, which slumped 7.8%, and APA, which fell about 5.2%. The losses came alongside falling prices for West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude, as well as natural gas.
The eleven sectors are limping along as the week begins to wind down. They are all down for the week, dragged by communication services, which is off by nearly 2.7%. All sectors are also negative for December, with consumer discretionary leading the categories to the downside and off by about 13.3%
Energy is shining for the fourth quarter and the year, however. It’s up 19.6% for the final three months of the year, and up about 56.4% for 2022.
–Darla Mercado, Chris Hayes
Cal-Maine’s latest results show consumers are paying nearly twice as much for a dozen eggs
What does inflation looks like these days?
Consumers are paying roughly twice as much for a dozen eggs than they were a year ago, driven in part by greater demand for specialty eggs, according to the latest results from Cal-Maine Foodsthe nation’s largest egg producer.
The average selling price for each dozen of eggs hit $2.71 in the quarter ended November 2022, up from $1.37 the same quarter the previous year. That increase has outpaced a rise in feed costs, which have been surging in recent years.
Supply and demand are propelling the surge in prices.
While bird flu has hurt industry supplies, Cal-Maine has continued to see enormous demand — notably in premium specialty eggs. Conventional egg volumes were actually 2% lower in the quarter, while specialty eggs saw a 24% surge in volumes.
There are a couple of reasons for this. Conventional egg prices have been increasing so much that they’ve been exceeding prices for specialty eggs. Cal-Maine’s average price for conventional eggs in the latest quarter was $2.88 – more than 21% higher than the going price of $2.37 for specialty eggs.
So why pay for a conventional egg when you can get a less expensive specialty egg? Cal-Maine pointed out that the phenomenon has been a surprising trend of late: “Conventional egg prices exceeding specialty egg prices has occurred for the past three quarters but is atypical historically.”
Also boosting specialty egg demand – cage-free egg mandates in California and Massachusetts last January, as well as a trend of “more retailers shifting to selling more cage-free products.”
Shares of Cal-Maine jumped 68% in 2022. Still, the stock was down about 5% in Wednesday extended trading.
– Robert Hum, Sarah Min
Stock futures open higher
U.S. stock futures opened higher Wednesday night, as investors head into the final trading days of 2022.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures added 38 points, or 0.09%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.12% and 0.15%, respectively.
— Sarah Min