US Stock prices were mixed in a volatile week as earnings tended to lead the market direction. With about half of S&P500 companies reporting earnings so far 78% have beat estimates on earnings and 66% beating sales estimates. Positive data from Europe and China helped move their markets higher. Treasury bonds were mostly unchanged. Commodities were mostly lower. Of particular note:
- Consumer Prices in the US rose by 0.3% in June after rising 0.4% in May. Excluding volatile food and energy Consumer Prices in June rose only 0.1%. This is important as it appears energy prices are falling back in July. Year over year prices in June were 2.1% higher.
- Sales of existing homes rose 2.6% in June.
- Sales of new homes fell sharply by 8.1% in June from May.
- Seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment fell sharply in the prior week to 284,000, the lowest level since February of 2006. The four week moving average also dropped by 7,250 to 302,000. One factor in the drop this week is due to limited auto shutdowns due to strong demand.
- Durable goods orders increased a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in May more than expected and a sign that businesses are increasing capital spending which should help growth in the second half.