Morning Report – Home price appreciation is decelerating 6/30/15

Markets are higher this morning after the Chinese stock market posted an impressive turn-around and rallied 5.5% overnight on hopes the government would do more to support stock prices. Bonds and MBS are down.

Greece’s bailout expires tonight, and they are preparing for life post-bailout. The government has scheduled a referendum for 7/5 to accept or reject the austerity. Mohammed El-Arian lays out the path forward.

After the Greek situation gets resolved, attention will turn to the melt-down in China. Chinese stocks entered bear market territory (notwithstanding yesterday’s humongous rally) and a lot of this rally is being supported by dumb money – margined retail money. People are looking to the government to do something to support the markets, and it feels a lot like the Japanese market did in the 90s, where the Ministry of Finance would call the banks during the lunch break and basically tell them to tear up their sell tickets for the day.

House prices increased 4.9% year over year in April, according to Case-Shiller. Home price appreciation is decelerating as wages fail to keep up with house prices.

Consumer confidence rose to 101.4 in June, according to the University of Michigan.

Obama just increased the cost of labor by demanding that anyone who earns just less than $1,000 a week be eligible for overtime, whether they are managerial or not. The new rules will take effect in 2016. IMO, this will only accelerate the replacement of technology for labor and the Uber-ization of the economy, but I suspect Obama isn’t thinking about that. He is focused on whipping up the base, which is lukewarm with Hillary. With employment costs already soaring from regulatory mandates, I don’t see how this helps overall employment levels. I suspect this is a variation of the French mentality that limiting hours will somehow encourage more hiring. It never ceases to amaze me that the left is completely comfortable with the concept of raising the price of gasoline and cigarettes via excise taxes in order discourage consumption, but yet they somehow imagine the laws of supply and demand are suspended in the labor markets.

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