Stocks are flat this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are up.
Initial Jobless Claims came in at 272k, an increase of 10k from last week.
Durable Goods orders rebounded smartly after a terrible December. They were up 4.9%, way better than the Street expectations.
Capital Goods orders rose 3.9% as well. Capital Goods orders are a proxy for business capital investment, so whatever turmoil is happening in the financial markets doesn’t seem to be affecting Main Street, at least not yet.
House prices rose 1.4% in the fourth quarter, according to the FHFA House Price Index. Home prices have now surpassed their bubble peaks and are making new highs. Note that this index is a sub-index of the real estate market – it only looks at homes with conforming mortgages, so it excludes all cash distressed sales and the jumbo market.
In other economic data, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell slightly last week to 44.2. Consumer comfort is crawling back to the bubble days, but still is lower than the Big 90s when the stock market bubble was raging.
One thing that is apparent in this election cycle is that it is hip to bash big business. Why won’t they fight back and tell their side of it? In essence, they dismiss the current populism as so much heated campaign rhetoric and believe that when the election is over, it is back to business as usual. FWIW, they have scored some big victories with the Ex-Im bank and the TPP trade deal. Wall Street, for some inexplicable reason, continues to be content with being a punching bag.
Realtor.com lays out the 20 hottest real estate markets in February. Cliff Note version: mainly California. The Northeast is deader than Elvis.
The Atlanta Fed lowered their Q1 GDP estimate to 2.5% from 2.6%.