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Initial Jobless Claims Decline

Zacks Equity Research
While pre-market futures are down on a continued souring in trade between the U.S. and China, Jobless Claims, Best Buy and Medtronic brought some good news.

In pre-market news this Thursday, Chevron CVX has announced it will not pursue a higher bid to attain Anadarko Petroleum APC, an oil and gas-producing major heavily invested in the Permian Basin — now the biggest oil-producing region in the world. A counter-bid by Occidental Petroleum OXY, with the help of Berkshire-Hathaway BRK.B, for $57 billion has won out.

Analysts see Occidental as paying a big premium for Anadarko, in a 50-50 cash-stock split, though the deal creates a new power structure in the Permian. Chevron had initially made its bid for the company, but when Berkshire committed $10 billion to the deal when Occidental upped its bid, Chevron eventually tapped out. Chevron stock is up in the pre-market, while Occidental and Anadarko are down a tad.

New Initial Jobless Claims ratchet down to 228K from the previous week’s unrevised 230K, consistent with healthy labor market numbers we’ve been seeing, though up from the 4-week average 220K and change. Continuing Claims remained near half-century lows, though ticked up to 1.685 million a week earlier from 1.671 million the previous week.

The April read on the Producer Price Index (PPI) reached +0.2%, 10 basis points lower than expected and down from the previous month’s +0.6%. Subtracting food and energy costs, we see PPI growth of just +0.1%, also beneath estimates. Final demand year over year was in-line at +2.2%, a tad hotter when taking out food and energy costs.

Tomorrow morning, the New York Stock Exchange welcomes Uber’s IPO, which could raise as much as $100 billion or more (at a price of between $44 and $50 per share). It is the most widely-anticipated initial public offering of the past 5 years, largely because of its ubiquity not only on the streets of America but in news headlines, as well.

Yet Uber is not expected to turn a profit for some time. Aside from payment fees, insurance and driver incentives, Uber is also undergoing a massive worldwide build-out. Self-driving technology is another place Uber is putting its revenues. Not until analyst coverage is released from two sources or more will Uber carry a Zacks Rank.

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