Stocks are higher this morning after retail sales came in better than expected. Bonds and MBS are up.
Retail Sales rose 1.2% in May, matching estimates. The control group, which strips out some of the more volatile components rose 0.7%, higher than the 0.5% estimate. The big gainers were building supplies, autos and gasoline.
Import prices rose 1.3% on a month-over-month basis. Business Inventories picked up 0.4% as well.
Initial Jobless Claims came in at 279,000, a strong number. This is the 14th consecutive week below 300k.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort index slipped to 40.1 from 40.5. These sorts of consumer confidence / sentiment indices are really inverse gasoline price indices.
2015 could be the best year in housing since 2006, according to the NAR. Rising rates are not discouraging buyers – in fact the opposite is happening. Buyers are worried that affordability is going down and that is motivating them to buy now.
Separately, consumers are getting more bullish on housing, according to the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey. They are not getting more bullish on the economy however, even though their incomes are rising. Pessimism about the economy is at a six month high.
The left is all up in arms after Jamie Dimon said that Elizabeth Warren doesn’t understand the business of banking. I have seen stories where she confuses lending and servicing, so Jamie has a point. She has found her niche as the Ted Cruz of the Left – happy to play to the base and annoy her adversaries with overheated rhetoric. It is okay, Liz, even the really smart people don’t understand it all that well.
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