Big Merger???

U.S. housing starts declined 2.6% to an annual rate of 1.25 million units in January. Homebuilding is up 10.5% from January 2016. Single-family homes, which accounts for the largest share of the residential housing market, climbed 1.9%. The volatile multi-family housing segment starts tumbled 10.2%. Permits for future construction jumped 4.6% for the month to…

Continue Reading

Inflation in play

Increased spending at gas stations and restaurants in January, pushed up retail sales by 0.4%. Service station sales increased 2.3%, restaurants and bars rose 1.4%, and auto sales slipped 1.2%. Over the past 12 months, retail sales have risen 5.6%. (Commerce Department) Consumer prices saw their biggest increase in nearly four years in January up…

Continue Reading

Refinancing Way Down

Small business optimism rose again in January to its highest level since December 2004, according to the National Federation of Independent Business – Index of Small Business Optimism. The Index reached 105.9. Five of the Index components increased and five decreased, but many held near their record high. The recent growth in optimism looks like…

Continue Reading

Apple of my eye

Happy Valentine Day. The S&P 500 has risen only 40.9% percent of the time on Valentine’s Day, compared to a historical daily rate of 52.1%. (CNBC) The S&P 500 now has a market cap of $20 trillion crossing that mark for the first time ever. (CNBC) It is just 30 stocks but the exchange-traded funds…

Continue Reading

OPEC Reduces Production

Chinese trade expanded both imports and exports. The increase in exports suggests that the weaker yuan boosted exports. The data suggests an improving Chinese and global economy. (LPL Research) Many oil market participants have questioned whether OPEC members would adhere to the production cuts agreed to at their November 2016 meeting. Saudi Arabia has actually…

Continue Reading

No Recession???

Initial claims for unemployment insurance remained pinned to 40-year-plus lows in the latest week, and continue to suggest that the labor market is tightening. Claims do provide a recession signal when they rise between 75,000 and 100,000 over a six-month period. Six months ago, claims were running in the 260,000 to 270,000 per week level….

Continue Reading

1 2 3 48