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Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
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These state pages or hyper-local pages provide content directly related to a specific geographical location.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK..."If you only care enough for a result, you will almost certainly attain it."--William James INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE...One result we care a lot about is a turnaround for new homes. We haven't attained it quite yet, with New Home Sales down 2.3% in August, at a 295,000 annual rate. This keeps them in the territory they've occupied since May 2010, but there were some good signs in the report. The inventory of new homes for sale fell to its lowest level on record. At the same time, the inventory of homes not yet started went up the most it has in nearly five years. Some economists say this may indicate home building is close to turning back up.
The FHFA index of prices for homes bought with conforming mortgages went UP 0.8% in July after a 0.7% hike in June. This key home price index is up 7.4% annually over the last three months, the fastest rate of increase since early 2006. Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Index was UP 0.9% in July for the fourth month in a row, although prices are still down versus last year. Finally, Pending Home Sales, measuring contracts on existing homes, were off 1.2% in August, dragged down by the hurricane and floods in the Northeast, but they're UP 7.7% year-over-year!
DOWNBEAT...Wall Street investors sent stock prices up, down and sideways before ending the week on a decidedly down note as the Dow dropped 241 points on Friday. The index was still up a bit for the week, although the broader S&P 500 and the volatile Nasdaq were both down. The negatives were basically international, as worries continue over European fiscal problems, still not resolved. Asian markets also slid as China's manufacturing PMI indicated contraction for the third month in a row in the face of a sluggish global economy.
Domestically, things weren't so bad. Our manufacturing PMI for the Chicago region shot up to 60, well into expansion territory. University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment also came in better than expected, at close to 60. Personal income was down slightly and personal spending up a bit for the month, but income is UP 4.5% and spending UP 4.7% in the last year. Core PCE inflation was up only 1.6% for the year, well within the Fed's target range. The final Q2 GDP reading was 1.3% growth, better than expected, but still not what we need for real recovery.
For the week, the Dow ended up 1.3%, at 10913; the S&P 500 was down 0.4%, to 1131; and the Nasdaq was down 2.7%, to 2415.
Prices in the bond market held up pretty well, as enough investors looked for a safe haven. But the positive economic news kept things in check, so the FNMA 3.5% bond we track closed Friday at $102.25, down .02 for the week. National average mortgage rates hit new record lows for both 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages, according to Freddie Mac's weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
DID YOU KNOW?...Technical analysts believe that market psychology influences trading in a way that enables them to predict when a stock or bond price will rise or fall based on historical prices and other trading variables. The intrinsic value of the security is not considered.
This Week’s Forecast
MANUFACTURING, SERVICES, JOBS...This week we'll see reports on key economic areas. Monday's ISM Index gives us a read on the manufacturing sector, expected to still be above 50 for September, indicating expansion. Wednesday's ISM Services Index is also forecast to show growth for the sector that provides around 85% of U.S. jobs.
The big news will be how many of those jobs were added last month. The answer comes Friday in the September Jobs Report. Unfortunately, economists aren't expecting strong numbers just yet.
The Week’s Economic Indicator Calendar
Weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and rising loan rates.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.