Oil Futures Settle Notably Lower

Biden Nominates Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson To U.S. Supreme Court

President Joe Biden on Friday announced his intent to nominate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jackson, who is currently a judge on U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, would be the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court if confirmed by the Senate.

Announcing the news on Twitter, Biden said Jackson is “one of our nation’s brightest legal minds and will be an exceptional Justice.”

If confirmed, Jackson would replace Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced his retirement from the nation’s highest court last month.

A statement from the White House noted Jackson previously served as a clerk for Breyer and has broad experience across the legal profession.

The White House also pointed out that Jackson has been confirmed by the Senate three times, receiving votes from Republicans as well as Democrats.

“Judge Jackson is an exceptionally qualified nominee as well as an historic nominee, and the Senate should move forward with a fair and timely hearing and confirmation,” the White House said.

Even with Jackson’s confirmation, conservatives on the Supreme Court would continue to hold a sizeable 6 to 3 majority.

Fast-Forward to Spring With This Season-Bridging Menu

David Tanis gives you permission to skip ahead in time, and make this celebratory menu anchored by racks of lamb and tender turnips.

By David Tanis

U.S. Pending Home Sales Unexpectedly Plunge 5.7% In January

The National Association of Realtors released a report on Friday showing a continued slump in pending home sales in the U.S. in the month of January.

NAR said its pending home sales plunged by 5.7 percent to 109.5 in January after tumbling by 2.3 percent to a revised 116.1 in December.

The continued decrease came as a surprise to economists, who had expected pending home sales to jump by 1.0 percent.

A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

“With inventory at an all-time low, buyers are still having a difficult time finding a home,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Given the situation in the market – mortgages, home costs and inventory – it would not be surprising to see a retreat in housing demand.”

The unexpected slump in pending home sales was partly due to a steep drop in pending sales in the Northeast, which plummeted by 12.1 percent.

Pending home sales in the South and West also plunged by 6.3 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively, while pending sales in the West jumped by 1.5 percent.

A pedestrian hit by train in Denver on Thursday night died at the scene.

A pedestrian died in Denver on Thursday when hit by an RTD train.

The incident happened at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday in Northeast Park Hill, in the 4000 block of North Monaco Parkway, according to police. The pedestrian, a man, died at the scene.

An investigation is ongoing and the man will be identified by the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner.

Biden Nominates Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson To U.S. Supreme Court

President Joe Biden on Friday announced his intent to nominate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jackson, who is currently a judge on U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, would be the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court if confirmed by the Senate.

Announcing the news on Twitter, Biden said Jackson is “one of our nation’s brightest legal minds and will be an exceptional Justice.”

If confirmed, Jackson would replace Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced his retirement from the nation’s highest court last month.

A statement from the White House noted Jackson previously served as a clerk for Breyer and has broad experience across the legal profession.

The White House also pointed out that Jackson has been confirmed by the Senate three times, receiving votes from Republicans as well as Democrats.

“Judge Jackson is an exceptionally qualified nominee as well as an historic nominee, and the Senate should move forward with a fair and timely hearing and confirmation,” the White House said.

Even with Jackson’s confirmation, conservatives on the Supreme Court would continue to hold a sizeable 6 to 3 majority.

Oil Futures Settle Notably Lower

Crude oil futures settled lower on Friday, but posted a weekly gain as traders weighed the possibility of any significant disruptions to global crude supplies due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down by $1.22 or about 1.3% at $91.59 a barrel. For the week, WTI crude futures posted a modest gain.

Brent crude futures dropped by $1.15 or 1.2% to settle at $97.93 a barrel today. Brent crude futures for May shed about $1.30 or 1.4% at $94.12 a barrel. Brent futures gained about 4.7% in the week.

Oil prices soared above the $100 a barrel mark on Thursday after Russia declared a war on Ukraine and launched a full-scale military attack on the neighboring nation, and several countries, including the U.S., imposed harsh sanctions on Russia.

However, with the measures not as crippling as some had feared, and the West seemingly unwilling to target Russia’s energy sector, oil prices retreated from higher levels on Thursday and extended the slide today.

Data from U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed Thursday that crude inventories in the U.S. rose by 4.515 million barrels in the week ended February 18th versus a 1.121 million increase in the previous week. The rise in inventories was the most since October last year.

A report from Baker Hughes today showed the rigs count in the U.S. rose by 2 to 522 in the week to February 25.