Overall nervousness about talks with Greece regarding its sovereign debt subsided after an interim agreement with the EU was reached. US company earnings were generally positive this week. US and international stocks posted healthy gains. Treasury bonds were largely unchanged as was the dollar.
In particular this week:
- Zelman and Associates survey of homebuilders showed an increase in new home sales in January of 32% from a year earlier.
- The Commerce Department reported that actual housing starts in January were down 2% from December.
- The Labor Department reported that in the previous week first time claims for unemployment fell 21,000 to 283,000. The four week moving average of claims also moved lower to 283,250.
- The Labor Department also reported that producer prices fell 0.8% in January and were unchanged from a year ago.