NEW HOME SALES DROP, RESALES CLIMB
March brought a 6.1% advance for existing home sales according to the National Association of Realtors. This happened with a 4.6-month inventory of homes for resale, which is underneath the 6-month level characteristic of a thriving housing market. New home purchases tumbled 11.4% in March after a great February; on the bright side, there were more new home sales in the first quarter than in Q1 2014.
ORDERS FOR DURABLES INCREASE
The 4.0% March gain noted by the Census Bureau was welcome. From November through February, overall hard goods orders declined by 1.4% or more each month (excepting January’s 2.8% increase).
OIL ADVANCES, GOLD RETREATS
In New York, oil prices rose 2.5% from April 20-24 on inventory concerns: light sweet crude for July delivery settled Friday at $57.15 on the NYMEX. Gold lost 2.4% last week to a Friday close of $1,175.00 on the COMEX.
TECH EARNINGS GIVE BIG LIFT TO NASDAQ
That benchmark rose 3.25% last week, briefly topping the 5,100 level on the way to a close of 5,092.09 Friday. Five-day gains also came for the Dow (1.42% to 18,080.14) and S&P 500 (1.75% to 2,117.69).
THIS WEEK: On Monday, Apple, Container Store, Hertz Global, MGM Resorts, Universal Health Services and Barracuda Networks report earnings. Tuesday brings a new Conference Board consumer confidence survey, February’s S&P/Case-Shiller home price index and earnings from Aetna, Aflac, Big 5, Bristol-Myers Squibb, UPS, Edison International, Smart & Final, Ford Motor Co., Buffalo Wild Wings, Panera, Cummins, Coach, Supervalu, Ally, Akamai, NCR, Genworth, Pfizer, Twitter, GoPro, JetBlue, Revlon, Kraft, Whirlpool, U.S. Steel, T-Mobile, Merck, Sirius XM, Wynn Resorts, Western Digital and Valero. Wednesday offers a Federal Reserve policy statement, an estimate of Q1 GDP, March pending home sales numbers and earnings from Anthem, Baidu, General Dynamics, Yelp!, Goodyear, Fiat Chrysler, GrubHub, Hilton, Humana, Praxair, Time Warner, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Marriott and Northrup Grumman. Thursday presents March personal spending data, new initial claims figures and earnings from Avon, Visa, Colgate-Palmolive, Diebold, Coca-Cola, LiveNation, Time Warner Cable, ExxonMobil, Expedia, Virgin America, Fluor, HealthSouth, Pitney-Bowes, Public Storage, ConocoPhillips, Blackrock, Magellan Health, Marathon Petroleum, Nutrisystem and Cigna. Friday offers the University of Michigan’s final April consumer sentiment index, ISM’s April factory PMI and results from Berkshire Hathaway, Chevron, Clorox, CVS and Weyerhaeuser.