Gold Jumps On Renewed Growth Concerns

U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Climb Back Above 1 Million

First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased in the week ended August 15th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 1.106 million, an increase of 135,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 971,000.

The increase surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to drop to 925,000 from the 963,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average fell to 1,175,750, a decrease of 79,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 1,254,750.

The report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also tumbled by 636,000 to 14.844 million in the week ended August 8th.

“The decline suggests that some rehiring is occurring, which is encouraging,” said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

She added, “However, the number of individuals claiming benefits remains extraordinarily high – more than twice the peak of the Great Recession – underscoring that the labor market is a long way from being healthy.”

The four-week moving average of continuing claims also dropped to 15,841,250, a decrease of 326,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 16,168,000.

Goodyear backtracks, says workers can wear clothes supporting police

Goodyear Chief Executive Rich Kramer said Thursday the company had clarified its policy to make clear employees can wear apparel expressing support for law enforcement after it faced a boycott call from President Trump.

The Republican president, who is seeking a second term in office, told reporters Wednesday he would swap out the Goodyear tires on his presidential limousine if there were an alternative.

Goodyear on Thursday said it had a longstanding policy of asking employees of refraining from working place expressions of support for any political candidates.

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Tesla’s stock edges past $2,000 mark

Tesla shares briefly topped $2,000 on Thursday, capping a remarkable run that has seen them skyrocket more than 360 percent this year.

The electric automaker’s stock rallied more than 6 percent in intraday trading, bringing the company’s gains to just under 19 percent for the week.

Tesla’s market cap now sits at $372 billion, making it the most valuable carmaker in the world by far. The rally added an additional $4.2 billion to the net worth of CEO Elon Musk and brings his fortune to $89.5 billion, according to Forbes.

Musk has added $62.4 billion to his net worth since the beginning of the year thanks to Tesla’s supercharged stock performance.

Tesla earlier this month announced a 5-for-1 stock split, which will go into effect on Aug. 28 in an effort “to make stock ownership more accessible to employees and investors.”

At $2,000 per share, the stock split would make each new share of Tesla worth $400. Shares were worth $430 to start the year.

Tesla’s rally settled a bit after hitting $2,000, and the stock was trading up 6.2 percent at $1,995.94 Thursday afternoon.

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Taco Bell Go Mobile Restaurants To Detect Guests Upon Arrival

Taco Bell announced plans to launch a new ‘mobile’ restaurant concept in 2021, which will focus on drive-thru and curbside pickup.

“Taco Bell Go Mobile” is a new restaurant concept that allows Taco Bell to push the boundaries of the quick-service restaurant customer experience even further with the addition of several digital features.

Taco Bell Go Mobile restaurants will have two drive-thru lanes including a new priority pick-up lane with rapid service for customers who order via the Taco Bell app.

The Yum Brands-owned chain’s Taco Bell Go Mobile locations will be smaller sites at 1,325 square feet, compared with their regular 2,500-square-foot restaurant locations.

Taco Bell Go Mobile restaurants are specifically designed for guests to order ahead through the brand’s mobile app and enjoy the Taco Bell experience in a frictionless way.

Taco Bell’s first Go Mobile restaurant will open in first quarter of 2021.

“With demand for our drive-thru at an all-time high, we know adapting to meet our consumers rapidly changing needs has never been more important,” said Taco Bell President, Global COO, Mike Grams. “The Taco Bell Go Mobile restaurant concept is not only an evolved physical footprint, but a completely synchronized digital experience centered around streamlining guest access points. For the first time, our guests will have the ability to choose the pick-up experience that best fits their needs, all while never leaving the comfort of their cars.”

Brazil unemployment insurance claims fall in first two weeks of August

BRASILIA (Reuters) – New unemployment insurance claims in Brazil fell to 216,350 in the first two weeks of August, economy ministry figures showed on Thursday, down 23.2% from the preceding two-week period and 21.3% lower than a year ago.

The figures suggest the labor market is recovering from the worst of the coronavirus shock earlier this year, although total claims this year through the first two weeks of August stood at 4.74 million, up 9.1% from last year, the ministry said.

Gold Jumps On Renewed Growth Concerns

Gold rebounded on Thursday after heavy losses a day earlier, regaining appeal as a safe haven after worries resurfaced over the health of the global economy.

Spot gold spiked $23.30 or 1.21 percent to $1,951.20 after having fallen over 3.5 percent to a near one-week low on Wednesday.

The dollar inched up against rival currencies after the U.S. Federal Reserve minutes highlighted the uncertainties surrounding the economic recovery from a pandemic-induced slump.

The minutes of the Fed’s July meeting noted that the coronavirus outbreak is causing tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world, and that economic activity as well employment remain well below their levels at the beginning of the year.

The lack of inflationary comments from the Fed, downbeat economic outlook and negative comments about yield curve control triggered a retreat in global equities.