May the joy of the holiday season follow you through the coming year!
Thoughts to Ponder . . .
- I wonder how police on bikes arrest people. “Alright, get in the basket.”
- I always carry a knife, just in case we’re having cake.
- Dear Diamond, we all know who is really a girl’s best friend. Sincerely yours, Chocolate Cake.
- Paper cut: A tree’s final moment of revenge.
- Just got 30 minutes of cardio trying to pick up an ice cube from the kitchen floor.
- Also have a GREAT Holiday!!!
And Now on to The Market Update . . .
The holiday season is in full swing and investors are sticking to the sidelines.
- Trading volume remains low and the indices are trading within a narrow range.
- Non-stop speculation continues relating to what 2017 will bring for the economy and President Elect Trump’s policies….Only time will tell.
The report on existing homes sales for the month of November is better than analysts were expecting.
- Sales jumped 0.7 percent to an annualized rate of 5.610 million.
- This is a nice increase from October’s pace of 5.570 million.
- Resales of single-family homes declined by 0.4 percent, but the pace is still the second highest on record.
- Condominium resales jumped 10.0 percent, which is a surprising and strong turnaround for the sector.
- Overall sales of existing homes are 15.4 percent higher than the same time last year.
Home prices are rising at a slower pace than in previous months.
- For the month of October, prices increased 0.4 percent according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
- The prior two months recorded increases of 0.6 and 0.7 percent.
- The strongest part of the report is that prices are 6.2 percent higher than the same time last year.
- This is the 3rd straight month of plus 6.0 percent values over last year’s numbers.
In a surprise reversal, applications for mortgage loans increased 3.0 percent for both purchases and refinances.
- It appears that consumers are accepting the reality that mortgage rates will likely remain where they are, or even increase further, so they want to take advantage of them now before the cost of financing likely increases further in 2017.
First time jobless claims unexpectedly increased last week up to 275,000.
- After the recent employment data has been sitting with claims hovering around the 250,000 mark, the latest increase seemed to catch most experts by surprise.
- Given that there appears to be more jobs available than people to fill them, it seems a little odd that layoffs may be increasing.
- Since there are no special circumstances reported that can be attributed to the increase, it raises a question; if the next employment report due out on Friday January 8th will keep the trend of positive reports going?
Finishing out this week’s economic reports, the 3rd quarter GDP data lived up to expectations that it would show the economy continues to have strength.
- With an adjustment for inflation, the latest report showed an increase of 3.5 percent beating analyst’s expectations.
- This is the strongest report in the last two years and the trend of continued improvement is likely to continue well into the first quarter of 2017.
Expect the markets to remain quiet now through the remainder of the holiday season.
This week’s potential market moving reports are:
- Monday December 26th – All Markets Closed
- Tuesday December 27th – Case-Shiller HPI & Consumer Confidence
- Wednesday December 28th – MBA Applications & Pending Home Sales
- Thursday December 22nd – First Time Jobless Claims
Joke of The Day!
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, they’d been worn all week and needed the air.’