Friday Gave Us Some Good Reads On Home Builders

Friday Gave Us Some Good Reads On Home Builders

 Money was a big topic last week, as the Fed meeting dialed up discussions about the cost of money--in other words, interest rates. As far as mortgage rates are concerned, Freddie Mac's chief economist had this to offer: "Wednesday's Fed decision to once again stand pat on rates, as well as growing anticipation of the U.K.'s upcoming European Union referendum will make it difficult rates to substantially rise in the upcoming weeks."It seems the window of opportunity to take advantage of today's low mortgage rates should stay open a little bit longer this selling season.Good deal!

Friday gave us some good reads on home builders.Following April's big gain, Housing Starts in May were pretty much flat, off just 0.3%. The 1.164 million unit annual rate beat expectations and put starts 9.5% ahead of a year ago.Looking at the trend, the 12-month moving average is at its highest level since 2008. And the mix is improving. Single-family starts were actually up 0.3% in May and are climbing more quickly than multifamily starts. New Building Permits were up 0.7% in May, with the single-family share up 4.8% from a year ago. Small wonder the NAHB home builders confidence index hit 60 in June, its highest read since January.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... Be ready for success. That big opportunity to succeed can come along any time. Make sure you're prepared to grab it, by working hard every day,with a positive mindset.

>> Review of Last Week

BANKS, BREXITSTYMIE STOCKS...Investors spent a good part of their time last week listening to central banks. Four of the biggies, includingour Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan, Bank of England and Swiss National Bank, all had meetings and all left their key interest rates unchanged.Normally stocks surge when rates are kept low, but this time all four banks voiced growth concerns in their policy statements. This Thursday's "Brexit" vote to decide whether Great Britain will leave the European Union also kept Wall Street nervous. Nervousness makes traders sell, so the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq chalked up their largest weekly drops since late April.

While our Fed expressed uncertainty about U.S. economic growth, last week's data broadcast the same mixed messages we've heard forever in this painfully slow recovery.Retail Sales were up a strong and way better than expected 0.5% in May, andConsumer Price Index (CPI) inflation came in lower than forecast.Initial Unemployment Claims stayed below 300,000 and Continuing Claims dropped into 2.1 million territory.Yes, manufacturing still suffers, with output  (Industrial Production) and factory usage (Capacity Utilization) both falling in May. But then there were the aforementioned housing reports pointing to continued growth in home building.

The week ended with the Dow down 1.1%, to 17675; the S&P 500 down 1.2%, to 2071; and the Nasdaq down 1.9%, to 4800.

The decent housing reports on Friday cooled things off in the bond market. Treasuries ended lower, but the 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond we watch finished the week UP .01, at $107.03.Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending June 16 saw national average 30-year fixed mortgage rates drop once again.Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

Victor DeFrisco Headshot
Phone: 561-951-3759
Dated: June 20th 2016
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