|US Dollar Index (DXY)
|10 Year Govt Bond Yield
|Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA
|Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA
|RPX Composite Real Estate Index
|BankRate 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage
Markets are up this morning after earnings reports and a good durable goods number. Bonds and MBS are down.
Durable goods came in at 2.6% in March, better than the 2% Street estimate. Initial Jobless Claims increased to 329k.
Pulte announced better than expected earnings, but orders are down 6% from a year ago. Net new orders are down 2%. Average selling prices increased 10% to 317,000 and gross margins increased to 23.8%. They reported that the spring selling season is off to a good start, and demand accelerated throughout the quarter. Michigan apparently did well, and demand is strong in Texas, Florida, and the Carolina. Demand is weak in Washington DC and New England. We saw confirmation of DC weakness from NVR. Perhaps prices simply rose too far too fast there. Pulte is more of an entry-level homebuilder, so that is encouraging. The first-time homebuyer has been the missing piece of the puzzle.
D.R. Horton announced even better numbers than Pulte, with new orders up 9% in units and 20% in dollar value. Gross Margins increased 210 basis points to 22.5%. Average selling prices increased 10% to 278,900. They reported that market conditions remain favorable, but the strength and improvement varies significantly over local markets. D.R. Horton in based in Texas, but operates over a big geographic area.
Finally, Ryland reported orders increased 6%, ASPs increased 18%, and gross margins increased to 21.1%. Ryland is based in Southern California and operates in 17 states.
So, for all the fears that homebuilder earnings would be terrible, so far, so good. We have heard from Lennar, KB, Pulte, DR Horton, NVR, and Ryland. Only NVR missed. That said, the weak order growth does seem to indicate that the big increases in ASPs and gross margins may be in the past. Very hard to reconcile these good earnings reports with that awful new home sales number yesterday.
Apple delighted the crowd with a better than expected earnings and a 7 for 1 stock split. I remember the ads for stock split beepers back in the late 90s in Barron’s. A company would announce a stock split, a page with the ticker is sent to your beeper, and you quickly go to your E*Trade account and buy the stock. No analysis required. Heck, you don’t even have to know what they do. Typical bubble thinking. Similarly, I remember the guy who sold me my Volvo station wagon in 2006 was speculating in condo rights. Hopefully he found a seat when the music stopped.
FWIW, it seems like the half a trillion market cap seems to be where companies stall out (both XOM and MSFT flirted with that level before petering out) and Apple is trading at $491B pre-open.
Filed under: Morning Report | 53 Comments »