>> Market Update QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "You can't bat a thousand all the time."--Julie Andrews, English actress, singer, author, director and dancer INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... The housing market didn't bat a thousand last week, as Housing Starts and Building Permits both hit home runs, but Existing Home Sales struck out. The home runs came Wednesday as Housing Starts shot UP 20.2% in April to a very encouraging 1.135 million annual rate, 9.2% ahead of the pace a year ago. The single-family homes part of the market was no slouch, UP 16.7% for the month and 14.7% for the year. Builders are optimistic, as Building Permits went UP 10.1% for the month, to a 1.143 million annual rate. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the six-month sales outlook hit its highest reading this year.Unfortunately, these two home runs were followed by a disappointing strikeout. Existing Home Sales dipped 3.3% in April, to a 5.04 million annual rate, versus the 5.22 million rate expected. But existing home sales have now been above a 5 million unit annual pace two months in a row. And sales are up 6.1% over a year ago, the seventh straight month of annual gains, so demand is obviously growing. April's decline came solely from single-family homes, as condo and coop sales were unchanged. Finally, the median price of an existing home edged higher, to $219,400 (not seasonally adjusted), up 8.9% from a year ago, while average prices are up 5.5% over last year. BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... It should never be a question of whether you'll succeed, but when. Be confident in the knowledge you'll succeed, and you'll exude that confidence in everything you do. TWO UP, ONE DOWN... Just like the April housing reports, last week's stock market indexes failed to bat a thousand. Two ended ahead and one dropped back. The two winners were the broadly-based S&P 500 and the tech-y Nasdaq, while the blue-chip Dow lost. None of the moves were large, so some called the week flat, although investor responses to things economic went up and down. FOMC Minutes from the Fed's April meeting revealed many members felt a rate hike in June was "unlikely," an up for Wall Street. But Fed chair Janet Yellen told a Rhode Island business group the weak economic data was "transitory" and the central bank is ready to raise rates this year, a down to investors.Since the Fed wants a higher level of inflation, it was also disturbing for Wall Streeters to see Core CPI prices come in higher than expected on Friday. The labor market seems to be gaining strength too. With this week's Initial Unemployment Claims at 274,000, the four week average went to 266,000, its lowest level since April 2000. This came while Continuing Unemployment Claims sank to their lowest level since November 2000. But hold on. The Philadelphia Fed Index of manufacturing in that region missed estimates, coming in well below the prior month's reading. The economy continues to move ahead haltingly, so no one really knows what the Fed will do, including the Fed.The week ended with the Dow down 0.2%, to 18232; the S&P 500 UP 0.2%, to 2126; and the Nasdaq UP 0.8%, to 5089.Friday's higher than forecast Core CPI inflation reading hurt bond prices a bit. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond we watch finished the week down .09, at $106.15. For the week ending May 21, national average fixed mortgage rates moved slightly lower, after three weeks of gains in Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Rates remain near historical lows. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up to the minute information. DID YOU KNOW?... The existing homes inventory was up 10% in April, but is down 0.9% from a year ago. So prices continued to increase and houses sold faster last month (39 days) than at any time since July 2013. >> This Week’s Forecast NEW AND PENDING HOME SALES UP, GDP DIPS, MIDWEST FACTORIES HUM... More reads on the April housing market should leave us satisfied. Both New Home Sales and Pending Home Sales are expected up in April. The pending index foretells the level of existing home sales a couple of months out. But the Q1 GDP-2nd Estimate is predicted to show contraction in the U.S. economy the first three months of the year. This will be blamed on harsh winter weather and the West coast dock strike. But that's all behind us, as the May Chicago PMI is forecast to show Midwest manufacturing keeps growing.The bond market closed early last Friday and both stock and bond markets were closed yesterday, in observance of Memorial Day.>> The Week’s Economic Indicator CalendarWeaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and rising loan rates. Economic Calendar for the Week of May 25 – May 29 DateTime (ET)ReleaseForConsensusPriorImpactTuMay 2608:30Durable Goods OrdersApr-0.6%4.4%ModerateTuMay 2608:30Durable Goods Orders ex-transportationApr0.3%0.4%ModerateTuMay 2610:00New Home SalesApr510K481KModerateTuMay 2610:00Consumer ConfidenceMay94.095.2ModerateThMay 2808:30Initial Unemployment Claims5/23274K274KModerateThMay 28 08:30Continuing Unemployment Claims5/162.250M2.211MModerateThMay 2810:00Pending Home SalesApr1.0%1.1%ModerateThMay 2811:00Crude Inventories5/23NA-2.674MModerateFMay 2908:30GDP - 2nd EstimateQ1-0.7%0.2%ModerateFMay 2908:30GDP Deflator - 2nd Estimate)Q1-0.1%-0.1%ModerateFMay 2909:45Chicago PMIMay53.052.3HIGHFMay 2910:00U. of Michigan Consumer Sentiment - FinalMay89.088.6Moderate >> Federal Reserve Watch Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months... A few more economists now believe the Fed could begin raising rates in September or even July. But the overwhelming majority still says it won't happen until later. Note: In the lower chart, a 6% probability of change is a 94% certainty the rate will stay the same.Current Fed Funds Rate: 0%–0.25%After FOMC meeting on:Consensus Jun 170%-0.25%Jul 290%-0.25%Sep 170%-0.25%Probability of change from current policy:After FOMC meeting on:Consensus Jun 17 0%Jul 29 8%Sep 17 27%
Author:Ralph and Karen Chiodo Phone: 610-517-4117 Dated: May 26th 2015 Views: 487 About Ralph and Karen: THE CHIODO TEAM - Ralph Chiodo Broker / Owner 610-792-4800 x 111
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