Morning Report: Existing Home Sales fall 11/23/15

Markets are flattish on no real news. Bonds and MBS are down.

Existing Home Sales fell to 5.36 million in October, according to the NAR. The median home price increased to 219,600. Inventories remain tight, with the number of homes for sale dropping to 2.14 million, which is about 4.8 month’s worth of inventory. 6 – 6.5 months is considered a balanced market. It doesn’t appear that TRID had much of an effect on home sales, at least so far.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index increased to -.04 in October. This is the third negative reading in a row, and the 8th  negative month this year. Note we will get the second revision to Q3 GDP this week.

We have another big merger today, with Pfizer buying Allergan in a $160 billion inversion trade. Pfizer will become an Irish corporation for tax purposes, although the headquarters will remain in New York.

The S&P 500 is approaching its highs yet corporate profits have fallen in the second and third quarters. Blame low oil prices and the strong dollar. Of course stocks are forward-looking instruments and investors may be focusing on 2016 and beyond. Still, it is one more reason to be cautious about stocks as the Fed begins a tightening cycle. I would venture to say the majority of the traders on the Street have never witnessed one. Goldman is forecasting a 100 basis point hike in rates in 2016.

The back-to-school shopping season was somewhat disappointing for retailers as consumers remain cautious. Retailers continue to be promotional (retail-speak for “cutting prices”) and WalMart will begin its Cyber Monday sales prices on Sunday night.

Part of the issue with consumption is that homeowners are not tapping their home equity, at least the way they did before. Home equity loans are about 25% of what they were in 2007. While mortgage lenders are being more conservative, auto loans are now the new credit bubble. When you can get an 8 year car loan for about the same prices as a 30 year fixed rate mortgage, you know this has the potential to end very badly.

20 Responses

  1. What is a National Activity Index and how is it measured?

    Oh–and frist!

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  2. The CFNAI is an average of 85 different indicators..

    https://www.chicagofed.org/publications/cfnai/index

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  3. Thanks, Brent!

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  4. Why do I go to PlumLine? The only comments worth reading are Novahockey’s Simpson’s quotes. Ugh. Then they Frontpage an article and destroy whatever last vestiges of hope I ever had for humanity.

    @Scottc1: (re Red Pill movie): “He was for actual equality, not gender karma and revenge.”

    Modern feminism should be retitled “Gender Karma and Reveng-ism”.

    The movie sounds interesting, and there are certainly plenty of horror stories about anti-male discrimination in the men’s movement, I just worry about all the victim-ism. Ultimately, I find much of the men’s movement focuses on victimhood and women as a “privileged class” that can get away with all these things that a guy couldn’t get away with (and reasonable complaints about how the courts favor women against men in divorces, and with child custody, although it’s important to point out that does not always happen). I’d like to see a movie about how identity politics and victimology turns out to be bad for the participants.

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    • KW:

      Ultimately, I find much of the men’s movement focuses on victimhood…

      I honestly don’t know much about the movement at all. One of the reasons I am interested in seeing the movie.

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      • The campus descent into madness continues apace:

        http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/427524/kansas-professor-under-fire-because-graduate-students-cant-handle-disagreement-david

        From the complaint about the offending professor:

        As you can imagine, this utterance caused shock and disbelief. Her comments that followed were even more disparaging as they articulated not only her lack of awareness of racial discrimination and violence on this campus and elsewhere but an active denial of institutional, structural, and individual racism. This denial perpetuates racism in and of itself.

        The obvious question is, how? But no doubt the answer to that question is the same as the answer to McWing’s repeated question about how to know if a “voice” is being heard on campus: Crickets.

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  5. @Michigoose: “Oh–and frist!”

    Bah. Next time (shakes fist). Or, probably not. 😉

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  6. I don’t know why defining what having a minority voice heard means is impossible.

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    • McWing:

      I don’t know why defining what having a minority voice heard means is impossible

      I do. It is because it is a meaningless ideological slogan designed to provoke an emotional response, not a concept grounded in or designed to describe any objective reality. And any attempt to specify how to recognize it in the real world would reveal it to be exactly that.

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    • George, many years ago, in 1977, I and my W1 went to counseling with an older woman named Doris Conway. My W1 claimed victim status for no reason that I, an insensitive male brute, could truly understand.

      Doris told my W1 a story about Doris’ first career as a journalist. She had been assigned to the society page but wanted to do courtroom and police reporting. One day the courtroom guy called in sick and she took it upon herself to go to the courthouse and write up the trial doings that day. She got reassigned to police and trial beat. She told my W1 that she could have either complained and moaned about not being assigned to the police beat because she was a woman, or seized her opportunity. That was what life was like.

      I think these students would rather piss and moan then seize their opportunities. I am perfectly willing to concede the existence of racism in society and in daily life, but I would gladly share Doris’ story – seize the fucking day, m’hearties. Because after I concede the existence of racism, you have gained nothing if you sit on your ass complaining about it.

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      • Mark:

        I think these students would rather piss and moan then seize their opportunities.

        I wonder how relevant Doris’ story would be to these misguided and ill-taught students. Doris had an actual goal that was being thwarted, ostensibly by sexism. She saw an opportunity to achieve her goal despite the sexism, and grabbed it. She didn’t let sexism stand in her way. That is a good lesson.

        But what goals do these students have that is be thwarted by racism? Nothing, as far as I can see. From what I can tell, the end-game for these kids isn’t some tangible, identifiable thing. They want their “voices heard” or their “viewpoints recognized”, but as we have seen, no one can even define what those things mean, or how one might know that they have been achieved.

        Unlike Doris, these kids cannot define success in terms of themselves (I got into the school I wanted, I got the job I wanted, I live in the neighborhood I wanted) because what they want is for other people to conform to their internal desires and feelings. Success, such as it is, is necessarily defined by what other people do, not what the students achieve for themselves in their own lives.

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  7. I do. It is because it is a meaningless ideological slogan designed to provoke an emotional response, not a concept grounded in or designed to describe any objective reality. And any attempt to specify how to recognize it in the real world would reveal it to be exactly that.

    Check your privilege, you cis-caucasion mansplainer, you…

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  8. Brent, do Pfizer’s big labs remain in San Diego?

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  9. Mark, do not know…

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  10. do Pfizer’s big labs remain in San Diego?

    La Jolla and other SoCal locations, plus R&D labs of various sorts across the country. There’s one here in Baltimore, although I haven’t looked into what, specifically, they do.

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  11. But what goals do these students have that is be thwarted by racism? Nothing, as far as I can see.

    Then in order for me to understand their complaints I would ask them to list their goals that are being thwarted. For each one that I could offer a suggestion about either my behavior or theirs I would do so, and for each of the nebulous complaints for which there are no meaningful responses I would state I had no idea what to do about them. They could never legitimately complain that I did not listen.

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    • Mark:

      They could never legitimately complain that I did not listen.

      “Legitimately” being the operative word. Because based on current evidence, complain they would, anyway.

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  12. ‘Goose, I see what you mean. I visited Pfizer’s web site, and the La Jolla facility, as huge as it seemed to me at the time I visited, is one lab among many around the world.

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  13. If only someone sympathetic to them could give us guidance on what having their voice heard actually means.

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