Oil Futures Snap 5-Day Winning Streak, Settle Marginally Lower

U.S. Leading Economic Index Advances More Than Expected In August

The Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing a bigger than expected increase by its index of leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of August.

The report said the leading economic index advanced by 0.9 percent in August after climbing by 0.8 percent in July. Economists had expected the index to rise by 0.6 percent.

The bigger than expected increase by the index reflected positive contributions from eight of the ten indicators, including average weekly initial jobless claims, the ISM New Orders Index and building permits.

“While the Delta variant—alongside rising inflation fears—could create headwinds for labor markets and the consumer spending outlook in the near term, the trend in the LEI is consistent with robust economic growth in the reminder of the year,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board.

He added, “Real GDP growth for 2021 is expected to reach nearly 6.0 percent year-over-year, before easing to a still-robust 4.0 percent for 2022.”

The report said the coincident economic index edged up by 0.2 percent in August following a 0.6 percent increase in July.

The lagging economic index also inched up by 0.1 percent in August after rising by 0.5 percent in the previous month.

Boppy Recalls 3.3 Mln Baby Loungers After 8 Infant Deaths

The Boppy Company has recalled over 3.3 million infant lounging pillows after it was connected with deaths of 8 infants in recent years.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the company has recalled Boppy Original Newborn Loungers, Boppy Preferred Newborn Loungers and Pottery Barn Kids Boppy Newborn Loungers.

The infants reportedly suffocated after being placed on their back, side or stomach on the lounger and were found on their side or on their stomach, the statement said. The infant deaths occurred between December 2015 and June 2020.

“These types of incidents are heartbreaking,” said Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “Loungers and pillow-like products are not safe for infant sleep, due to the risk of suffocation. Since we know that infants sleep so much of the time – even in products not intended for sleep – and since suffocation can happen so quickly, these Boppy lounger products are simply too risky to remain on the market.”

The recall involves all Boppy Newborn Loungers. The loungers were sold in a variety of colors and fashions and measure about 23 inches long by 22 inches wide and 7 inches high.

Boppy sold about 3.3 million of the recalled loungers at juvenile product stores and mass merchandisers nationwide and online, including Pottery Barn Kids, Target, and Walmart and online at Amazon.com. The loungers were sold from January 2004 through September 2021 for between $30 and $44. Boppy also distributed about 35,000 in Canada.

Sean Hannity Gets Weird In Super-Awkward Exchange With Laura Ingraham

Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham had an awkward exchange on Wednesday evening as the two bantered during the handover between their shows.

Ingraham suggested that Hannity was about to unveil a line of cosmetics, and complimented his “beautiful” skin. Hannity seemed puzzled, then responded by bragging about all the “hitting and hitting and hitting and elbows and punching” he does.

“That’s all I do is I hit every day for an hour and a half,” he said, as Ingraham continued to talk up Hannity’s supposed line of cosmetics.

The Daily Beast’s Justin Baragona posted a clip on Twitter: 

It’s not clear what Ingraham was referring to, or if she was joking. Hannity does have skin care items, such as cosmetics, exfoliators and cleansing sponges, for sale on his website along with cordless massagers and other personal care items. 

The two have had other uncomfortable moments during their handover in the past, like this one: 

And in another instance, Ingraham took a dig at Hannity’s cozy relationship with Donald Trump, who was president at the time. 

“Is that the White House speaking or is that you? I couldn’t tell,” she said during the 2019 exchange, then added: “I’m just teasing you.”

Durable goods orders rise more than expected

Steve Moore on Biden’s $3.5T spending plan: Inflation will ‘get worse’ if Democrats pass bill

Former Trump economic adviser Steve Moore provides insight into Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending bill.

Orders for big-ticket items jumped last month as manufacturers continued to navigate the supply-chain disruptions caused by COVID-19. 

New orders for manufactured durable goods in August rose 1.8% to $263.5 billion, according to the Census Bureau. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting a 0.7% increase.

Orders rose by an upwardly revised 0.5% in July, and have now increased in 15 of the last 16 months.  

Excluding transportation, orders rose 0.2% month over month, missing the 0.5% increase that was expected. Excluding defense, new orders rose 2.4%. 

Transportation equipment, which has increased three of the past four months, rose $4.2 billion, or 5.5%. 

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Shipments declined for a third straight month, falling 0.5%.  

Oil Futures Snap 5-Day Winning Streak, Settle Marginally Lower

Crude oil futures ended lower on Tuesday, snapping a five-day winning streak, as a sell-off in stock markets and a stronger dollar weighed on the commodity.

Oil prices moved higher early on in the session amid tighter supplies and optimism about energy demand.

The yield on U.S. 10-year Treasury note rose to above 1.5%, a three-month high, amid rising prospects of the Fed tapering its bond-buying program in the foreseeable future.

The dollar index rose to 93.81, gaining nearly 0.5%.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended lower by $0.16 or about 0.2% at $75.29 a barrel, coming off a high of $76.67 a barrel.

Brent crude futures were down $0.72 or 0.9% at $78.00 a barrel a little while ago.

Traders now await weekly oil reports from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The API’s report is due later today, while the EIA will release its inventory data Wednesday morning.