U.S. Stocks managed to gain for the week with large companies performing better than small companies. Global stocks also ended the week higher. Corporate bonds rallied and treasury bonds were generally lower as yields rose. Commodity prices, other than gold, fell as Saudi Arabia rejected the call for a production cap. With 96% of S&P 500 companies reporting, earnings have declined 3.3%. It was a busy week for economic data, in particular:
- The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index rose 5.4% for calendar year 2015.
- The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in January. From a year earlier January sales were up 11%. The national median sales prices of an existing home was $213,000 up 8.2% from a year earlier. The inventory of existing homes for sale fell 2.2% from a year earlier and represents a four month supply.
- The Commerce Department reported that purchases of new single-family homes decreased by a seasonally adjusted 9.2% in January. Keep in mind that the data is very volatile and has a margin of error of 13.5%. 2015 new home sales were the best since 2007. The inventory of new homes rose from a 5.1 month supply to a 5.8 month supply. The average new home sale price fell to $278,800 from $292,000 a year ago.
- The Labor Department reported that initial claims for unemployment rose 10,000 in the prior week to a seasonally adjusted 272,000. Claims still remain near a low and the four week moving average of claims fell 1,250 to 272,000.
- The Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. Crude inventories rose by 3.5MM barrels in the prior week.
- China’s General Administration of Customs reported that exports fell in January and were 11.2% below a year ago. Imports fell 18.8%.
- The Commerce Department reported:
- New orders for durable goods orders rose 4.9% in January. All sectors showed gains.
- 4th Quarter gross domestic product was revised up from 0.7% to a 1.0% annual pace.
- Personal spending increased 0.5% in January.
- Personal income increased 0.5% in January.
- The personal savings rate remained at 5% of income.
- Eurostat reported that the euro area Gross Domestic product rose 0.3% in the fourth quarter or an annual pace of 1.2%. For the entire year the Eurozone grew at a 1.5% annual pace.
Please call us if you have any questions.
Loren C. Rex, CFP®, AIF® Erik Smith
Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management 269-441-4143
77 E. Michigan Ave, Suite 140
Battle Creek, MI 49017
Carrie Fuce, Assistant 269-441-4091
Toll Free: 800-513-8180
Visit our Website: www.genfinplan.com
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These are the opinions of Loren Rex and Erik Smith and are not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice.
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