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Jobless Claims, Philly Fed Down; AAL, NEE, FCX Report Q1

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Thursday, April 21, 2022

Pre-market futures are up again this morning, setting what might be — still too early to know for sure — the first week in the green on any major index for at least a couple weeks. Even after key economic data hit the tape an hour before the opening bell, the Dow is +235 points, the Nasdaq +150 and the S&P 500 +35 points.

Being Thursday morning, new employment data is out in the form of Weekly Initial Jobless Claims, which remain down at 50+ year lows, at 184K last week. This is down a tick from the slightly upwardly revised 186K the previous week. Consensus was for an even better print, though it’s hard to see how one calls late-1960s jobless claims levels a “disappointment.”

Continuing Claims, reported a week in arrears from new claims, did touch a new post-Covid low this morning: 1.417 million, down 58K from the previous week’s tally, the lowest we’ve seen since 1970. Most of Generation X wasn’t even born the last time long-term unemployment claims stayed this low. It’s a true testament to the robust — and tight — workforce we’ve also seen register in other economic data.

The Philly Fed for April came in a little underwhelming this morning: 17.6 versus expectations around the trailing year-to-date average 21. We’ve seen two lower monthly reads in the past half-year, but we’re clearly off the trailing 12-month 24.7-point pace. Also, future indicators for general activity have dropped to their lowest levels since December 2008 — the heart of the Great Recession. We hope to see things pick up in Philadelphia manufacturing.

American Airlines AAL outperformed expectations in it Q1 report this morning, with negative earnings of -$2.32 per share less severe than the -$2.43 expected, and far better than the -$4.32 per share hole the airline saw itself in during the year-ago quarter. Revenues beat expectations by 1% to $8.9 billion in the quarter. Shares are up +10.8% on the news in the pre-market, adding onto the +8.5% gains the stock has made, year to date. For more on AAL’s earnings, click here.

North America’s largest electric utility (by market cap), NextEra Energy NEE, was mixed in its Q1 report this morning: earnings of 74 cents per share beat the 69 cents in the Zacks consensus and the 67 cents per share reported a year ago. But quarterly revenues were way off, $2.89 billion. Shares are flat-to-down on the earnings report, and are already down -12.7% year to date.

Copper-producing major FreeportMcMoRan FCX put up a solid earnings beat this morning in its Q1 earnings release: $1.07 per share easily toppled the 88 cents per share expected, and more than doubled the year-ago quarter’s earnings of 51 cents per share. Copper prices rose 7% in the quarter, according to the company. Shares are down -2% on the news, but FCX has already gained +20.3% so far this year.

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