This Week: Job openings, consumer prices, Disney earns

Monday, February 8, 2021 | The Associated Press

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:

JOB MARKET BELLWHETHER

The Labor Department issues its latest monthly tally of job openings Tuesday.

The number of open jobs at the end of November slipped 1.6% to 6.5 million, its first drop since August. At the same time, layoffs soared 17.6% to 1.9 million, driven mostly by layoffs at restaurants, bars and hotels, which more than doubled. Economists expect that the number of open jobs edged higher in December to 6.6 million.

Job openings, in millions, by month:

July 6.7

Aug. 6.4

Sept. 6.5

Oct. 6.6

Nov. 6.5

Dec. (est.) 6.6

Source: FactSet

INFLATION BAROMETER

A measure of inflation at the consumer level is expected to have risen again last month.

The consumer price index rose 1.4% in December from a year earlier, well below the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. Economists project that January’s consumer price index will show a 1.5% increase. Even so, analysts believe inflation will remain subdued with the U.S. economy still unable to break out of its pandemic-induced downturn. The Labor Department delivers its January index of U.S. consumer prices Wednesday.

Consumer price index, annual percent change, not seasonally adjusted:

Aug. 1.3

Sept. 1.4

Oct. 1.2

Nov. 1.2

Dec. 1.4

Jan. (est.) 1.5

Source: FactSet

SPOTLIGHT ON DISNEY

Wall Street expects Walt Disney racked up more losses in the last three months of 2020.

Analysts predict Disney will report Thursday that it remained in the red in its fiscal first quarter versus a year earlier. The company slid to a loss in its fourth quarter. Disney’s earnings have been eaten up by costs related to the company’s restructuring of its streaming services and lost revenue from its California theme parks, which remain closed due to the coronavirus.

Featured Article: Why do analysts give a neutral rating?



7 Semiconductor Stocks Set to Gain From the Chip Shortage

Who knew that something so tiny could create such a big problem? However, that’s the case with the semiconductor industry. Chip manufacturers are facing supply chain disruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Semiconductors are in high demand for the big tech companies who need the chips to power the servers for their data centers. But they are also needed for much of the technology we take for granted including laptops, tablets, mobile phones, gaming consoles, and automobiles – a sector that seems to be at the root of the current crisis.

Any weekend mechanic knows that even traditional internal combustion cars are heavily reliant on electronics. In fact, electronic parts and components account for 40% of a new, internal combustion vehicle. That’s more than doubled since 2000.

However as it turns out, some manufacturers may have overestimated how soon consumers would be ready for an “all-electric” future. And that meant that they didn’t forecast how much demand there would be for the kind of chips needed to do the mundane, but vital tasks of steering, braking, and even powering windows up and down.

Part of the problem is that U.S. businesses are heavily reliant on countries like China and Taiwan for their semiconductors. In fact, only about 12.5% of semiconductor manufacturing is done in the United States.

Of course, this creates a tremendous opportunity for the companies that manufacture these chips. And it comes at a good time. The semiconductor sector is notoriously cyclical and was coming down from the elevated demand for the 5G buildout.

In this special presentation, we’ll give you a list of seven semiconductor companies that you can invest in to take advantage of this opportunity.

View the "7 Semiconductor Stocks Set to Gain From the Chip Shortage".


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