NEW HOME SALES GO ONE WAY, RESALES ANOTHER
Rising 6.1% in February, new home sales reached a 7-month peak. The Census Bureau said that this gain occurred with just 5.4 months of inventory on the market, less than half that available in 2006 during the height of the last residential real estate boom. In contrast, the National Association of Realtors reported a 3.7% retreat for existing home sales last month, with increasing mortgage rates, high prices, and limited supply as major factors.
A GAIN FOR DURABLE GOODS ORDERS
A Census Bureau report noted a 1.7% improvement in February, following January’s 2.3% advance. Core hard goods orders did retreat 0.1% last month.
LIGHT SWEET CRUDE BREAKS 4-DAY LOSING STREAK
Friday’s small gain in the price of oil marked the first daily advance for the commodity since March 17. Across March 20-24, crude prices declined 1.7% as news broke of record stockpiles; it was the third losing week for oil in the past month. WTI crude settled at a NYMEX price of $47.97 Friday.
VOLATILITY RETURNS, MAJOR INDICES DECLINE
Investors were less confident last week than they had been in some time. Across five trading days, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.52% to 20,596.72; the Nasdaq Composite, 1.22% to 5,828.74; and the S&P 500, 1.44% to 2,343.98. The CBOE VIX gained 14.89% for the week, which still left it down 7.69% for the year.
THIS WEEK: Monday, nothing major is scheduled. Tuesday, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen speaks at an economic development conference in Washington, D.C., the Conference Board releases its March consumer confidence index, the January S&P/Case-Shiller home price index arrives, and in addition, Wall Street will look at earnings from Carnival, Darden Restaurants, and Sonic. On Wednesday, U.K. prime minister Theresa May is expected to officially trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, formally beginning the Brexit; stateside, the NAR issues its February pending home sales report, complementing earnings news from Lululemon Athletica and Paychex. Thursday brings both a new initial jobless claims report and the third estimate of Q4 growth from the federal government, along with Q4 results from Dell Technologies. Friday offers the University of Michigan’s final March consumer sentiment index, February consumer spending figures, and the latest PCE price index.
About the Independent Financial Advisor
Robert Pagliarini, PhD, CFP®, EA has helped clients across the United States manage, grow, and preserve their wealth for the past 25 years. His goal is to provide comprehensive financial, investment, and tax advice in a way that was honest and ethical. In addition, he is a CFP® Board Ambassador, one of only 50 in the country, and a real fiduciary. In his spare time, he writes personal finance books, finance articles for Forbes and develops email and video financial courses to help educate others. With decades of experience as a financial advisor, the media often calls on him for his expertise. Contact Robert today to learn more about his financial planning services.