Markets Started Strong and Finished Solid Last Week
Last week, financial markets opened on a strong note as Hurricane Irma died down and the damage was less than anticipated.
From a sector standpoint, although the banks generally outperformed during the recent weakness, industrials are now at the top of our sector rankings.
The number of building permits issued is considered an important leading indicator for the US economy. The health of the construction industry, which employs a lot of people, can be…
Manufacturers’ new orders are one of leading indicators in the Conference Board Leading Economic Index (or LEI).
Another important summer activity is shopping for a new home. Realtors often talk of curb appeal, and there’s no better time than summer.
The warmer weather inevitably brings the sounds of hammering, drilling, and backing-up-beeping through the windows along with the warm breeze.
Trump recently attacked Fed rates and even talked about trying to gain more control over the independent body.
We’re nearing the end of August—many investment professionals will be watching markets from the beach. The second revision to Q2 GDP will be out on Friday.
The NAHB Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, which measures homebuilder sentiment, peaked at 71 during the height of the housing bubble in late 2005. It bottomed out at 8 in early 2009.
Overall, building permits for single-family residences fell from 738,000 to 711,000 in July. Multifamily permits rose from 386,000 to 411,000.
In July, the Northeast saw housing starts jump from 116,000 to 134,000, while starts rose from 171,000 to 175,000 in the Midwest.
The U.S. Census Bureau published the July housing data on August 16. The release was well above market forecasts. Housing starts rose by 2.1% to 1,211,000.
The CPI (consumer price inflation), published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, remained unchanged in July. The energy index fell by 1.6% in July.
In June, the total foreclosure inventory fell 26% from a year ago to 375,000 homes. This works out to be about 1% of all homes with mortgages.
Planned job cuts rose 19% in July compared to June. However, they fell 57% YoY (year-over-year) in July.
Average hourly earnings rose $0.08 month-over-month in July 2016 and 2.6% year-over-year to $25.61.
In July 2016, non-farm payrolls rose by 255,000. Non-farm payrolls easily topped Wall Street analysts’ estimate of 185,000.