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What the jobs report, falling oil prices mean for Biden’s presidency

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Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman relates how the November jobs report and decreasing oil prices influence the perception of the Biden administration's performance.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: All right, I want to switch over back to what's going on with the jobs report, and the market reaction, and all of the implications of that. And for that, let's bring in our Rick Newman, who watches all of the intersections of politics and the economy very closely here, Rick.

So we got this number this morning. We also, by the way, had Congress once again pass a stopgap spending bill, right? So where are we now in terms of President Biden's positioning, I guess, is the big question here?

RICK NEWMAN: There is a lot going on in December, for sure. And the next hurdle is whether we're going to get through the debt ceiling increase, which actually looks like it might happen next week. And then the next question after that is, what happens to the Biden Build Back Better legislation which passed the House and is now in the Senate?

You tally this all up, Julie, and this actually doesn't look so bad for Biden. I mean, he got the American Rescue Plan passed in March. He got the infrastructure plan passed just a few weeks ago and signed that. And he could end the year with this third big legislative package.

And I've been looking at the job numbers today and what economists are saying-- yes, big disappointment in November-- less than half what economists were expecting. But if you add it all up for the year, the job gains have been very strong. The unemployment rate has come down sharply. And wages are up.

So Biden actually has a fair amount he can claim credit for in 2022. But I think your question raises the point that this is all muddled together. And people don't really know everything that's going on. So maybe we just all need a two-week holiday break to digest all of this information and reassess at the beginning of 2022.

BRIAN SOZZI: Rick, is $3 a gallon gas a problem for President Biden?

RICK NEWMAN: Well, we don't have $3 gas right now. We have about $3.40 gas. But there does seem to be a good chance that we could come down to about $3. That's because of a couple of different things-- and this is a surprise, by the way.

Just a couple of weeks ago, energy analysts did not think we were going to get this break, but Biden released-- or said he's going to release 50 million barrels of oil from the US reserve. We saw the big pullback in financial markets because of Omicron concerns. And then yesterday, the OPEC-plus oil producing nations, they said they were actually going to increase output modestly.

That was kind of a surprise, because after Biden announced he was going to do that big release of oil, I think a lot of people thought OPEC might actually curtail production in order to keep prices up. But OPEC did not do that. So we're already seeing a decline in the wholesale price of gasoline, which means that's going to show up at the pump.

And Moody's Analytics thinks that by the beginning of next year, we could have gasoline back to $3 a gallon. That would look like a relief to consumers. That would still be an increase over the last year, but it would be down, you know, what, $0.40 from where it has been the last month or two, let's say.

JULIE HYMAN: Rick Newman, thank you so much. We'll keep watching, and Sozzi and I will keep debating the effect of those gasoline prices.

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