US stock prices rose this past week. International stock prices rose more. Treasury prices slipped as the yields rose and commodity prices were lower. China reduced its bank reserve requirements to stimulate growth which was positively received.
In particular this week:
- The National Association of Realtors reported
- Existing home sales rose 6.1% in March from February and 10.4% from a year ago.
- Existing home prices have risen 7.8% over the past year.
- The Labor Department reported that first time claims for unemployment in the prior week rose slightly to 295,000. The four week moving average of claims rose to 1,750 to 284,500 just above the post financial crisis low of 282,500.
- The Commerce Department reported
- New home sales fell 11.4% in March much worse than expectations. Keep in mind that his number is frequently revised and has margin of error of 18.6%. The very strong February number was revised up to 543,000.
- Durable goods orders rose 4% in March. Excluding the volatile aircraft and auto sectors durable goods fell 0.2%. This represents a six month slowdown in durable goods orders by businesses.
- HSBC’s preliminary China purchasing manager’s index for April fell to 49.2 from 49.6 in March showing two months below 50 which represents contraction.