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First-time claims for unemployment insurance were little changed over the past week, indicating that the heightened pace of layoffs during the pandemic may have hit a plateau.  Initial filings for the week totaled 268,000, a decline of 1,000 from a week ago.  The total was the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic but in close keeping with where claims have been over the past month.


U.S. homebuilding unexpectedly fell in October as activity remains constrained by shortages of materials as well as scarce land and labor.  Housing starts slipped 0.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.520 million units last month, according to the Commerce Department.  Permits for future homebuilding increased 4.0% to a rate of 1.650 million units in October.  Lumber remains expensive and copper prices, another essential material in home building, are high. In addition, there were about 333,000 job openings in the construction industry as of the end of September, and according to the NAHB, availability of land for building is at multi-decade lows.  


The widely held Nvidia’s stock rose more than 5% after they reported earnings for their third fiscal quarter that beat expectations for both earnings and sales.  The company also issued a bullish forecast.  Nvidia’s stock has been on a big run, with shares up more than 124% year to date. The company has had more demand than they can fill, especially for its hard-to-find GeForce graphics cards that are popular with gamers.


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