Existing-Home Sales: March 2017
First Quarter Earnings, Rate Hike Projections, and March Home Sales!
By Barry Habib (via Movement Mortgage Blog)
“The stock market bounced around for most of the week, but recorded a moderate gain as investors focused on what is shaping up to be a strong first quarter corporate earnings season. Investors were also able to overlook increasing geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and Korea and an expected delay in legislation to reform the U.S. tax code.
The 10-year Treasury yield fell as low as 2.167% on Tuesday to record a five-month low on lower than expected manufacturing production and housing starts. The 10-year yield then recoiled to end the week at 2.246% after stocks continued to grind higher with the exception of oil shares. Oil prices gave back all of the previous week’s gains, with West Texas Intermediate crude falling to $49.54 per barrel from last week’s close of $53.25.
The broader S&P 500 Index closed the week higher by 0.9% and this led to a retreat in rate hike expectations. The fed funds futures market is now showing a 48.5% implied probability of a June rate hike, down from last week’s 57.3%. Market mavens now believe July will be the most likely time for the Fed to announce its next rate hike with an implied probability of 53.6%.
Several economic reports released during the week indicated housing demand remains strong with home prices continuing to rise while home inventory remains constrained.
Housing starts for March were reported at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.215 million units. This was slightly below forecasts of 1.256 million and 6.8% lower from February’s upwardly revised rate of 1.303 million units. Single-family housing starts were down 6.1% to 821,000 while multi-unit housing starts were 7.9% lower to 394,000. However, building permits shot 3.6% higher to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.260 million units, but this was entirely due to permits for multifamily residential housing as single-family permits fell 1.1% to 823,000.” – Via Movement Mortgage Blog
By Barry Habib
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