Stocks rose this past week following stronger housing numbers. Treasury rates also increased. Target and Home Depot had disappointing earnings but blamed it on the weather. Time will tell if sales rebound this quarter.
Significant economic data this past week include:
- China’s Factory Activity improved in May to 49.7 up from 48.1 in April. However, any number less than 50 represents contraction.
- US Initial Jobless Claims in the prior week rose to 326,000 higher than economists’ forecasts of 310,000.
- Existing home sales rose by 1.3% in April the first monthly increase of this year. Existing home sales were 6.8% lower than a year ago. Higher home prices and higher mortgage costs were cited as reasons. Although 30 year mortgage costs have fallen year to date from 4.4% to 4.14% this past week they are still well above the 3.59% from a year ago.
- New home sales rose 6.4% in April better than economists’ forecasts.
- The Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, reported the volume of world exports and imports in March was 0.5% lower than in February. For the first quarter as a whole, trade flows were down 0.8% on a quarterly basis, after a rise of 1.5% in the final three months of last year.