To quote the BLS again its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary or JOLTS series shows a record high number of job openings at 5.9 million. Additionally, this and data from the Federation of Independent Business Owners or NFIB show that hiring qualified candidates is becoming increasingly difficult due to a skills mismatch. Something that is frankly odd on its face given that we turn out more college graduates than ever, and have been doing so for quite some years now.
The Mortgage Bankers Association or MBA reports that mortgage activity increased .9% last week as refis and purchase apps both gained 1% each. The 30-year contract rate for a conforming loan increased fractionally to 3.68%.
As expected the latest Fed Beige Book on regional economic conditions showed more of the same unspectacular muddle along growth and nothing remarkable.
I’m not sure if I should file this one under investment banker hubris or what but following a steady decent into negative yielding sovereign or government debt worldwide it appears that public corporations are getting in on the act with Henkel and Sanofi issuing negative yield bonds in Europe. Quoting from the Financial Times piece; “Bankers said investors stomach the losses because they are smaller than those on government bonds or keeping money in a commercial bank account”. The last time I checked the purpose of investing was to make money, and I’m pretty sure that’s still the case.