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Health Care Reform Vote Next Week

With the Senate releasing its own health care reform plan yesterday, markets were turning their attention to the possible outcomes.  Before we touch on that subject, there were some economic releases this week to note.  According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales rose 1.1% in May to a 5.62 million annualized rate.  That was in-line with the consensus estimate and slightly above the revised 5.56 million the prior month.  The median sales price rose 5.8% year-over-year as the inventory of available properties fell 8.4% from May 2016, the 24th straight year-over-year decline in supply.  Mortgage rates are near historically low levels and with wages steadily increasing that has created a sellers’ market for homes especially with inventory shortages.  With construction starts for new homes down three consecutive months and permits at a one-year low in May, the odds of increased supply are low.  Today, government data on new home sales showed similar strength.  Sales for May rose 2.9% with the median sales price up nearly 17% to a record $345,800.  New home sales account for approximately 10% of the market and are tabulated when contracts are signed, in contrast to existing home sales which are totaled when the transaction closes.  Though April’s reading was revised to a 593,000 pace from the previously reported 569,000, the pace of sales remains at less than half the peak seen in 2005.  Thus, there is little sign of an overheated market even with the big gains.  Despite the slight uptick in initial jobless claims, market watchers are anticipating a solid result in nonfarm payrolls for June when the data is released at the end of the first week in July.  These signs were a reason why the Fed raised rates earlier this month even though general price measures like the personal consumption expenditures annual figure remain below the 2% level Fed Chairwoman Yellen & Co. are seeking.  Even though the Fed governors are looking for another hike before year-end based on their economic outlook, the futures market is not agreeing with that viewpoint.  Only at the December meeting are the odds of a rate hike even close to even, with a probability of 43%.  There are plenty more data points to analyze so it is far too early to tell which camp will end up being right by the time the year comes to a close.

  • Health Care Reform Vote Next Week
  • Fed Raises Rates as Expected
  • All Eyes On Fed Interest Rate Decision Next Week
  • Markets Set New Records
  • OPEC Meets as Markets Hover Near Records
  • Stocks Retreat, Bonds Rally on Concerns Administration's Pro-Growth Agenda will be Delayed
  • Economy Chugs Along as Earnings Season Slows
  • Fed Keeps Rates on Hold as Slowdown in Growth Deemed Temporary
  • Tax Reforms Released as Earnings Season Continues
  • All Eyes On Europe as Earnings Season Kicks into Gear
  • Earnings Season Begins
  • Payrolls Affected by Storm
  • Steigerwald, Gordon & Koch Weekly Blog 3/31/2017
  • Markets Chug Along
  • No Surprise: Fed Raises Rates
  • Jobs Galore
  • Fed Governors Send Strong Signal March Rate Hike Likely
  • Fed's Next Move in Focus
  • Steigerwald, Gordon & Koch Weekly Blog 2/17/2017
  • Earnings Season Continues
  • SGK Weekly Blog 2/3/2017
  • Earnings Season in Full Swing as Dow Hits 20000
  • Earnings Get Off to a Solid Start as the Economy Continues to Chug Along
  • Earnings Season Begins
  • SGK Weekly Blog 1/6/2017
  • Markets Book Eighth Consecutive Year of Gains
  • SGK Weekly Blog Dec. 23, 2016 - Happy Holidays!!
  • Fed Raises Rates and Markets Shoot Higher
  • SGK Blog--Update November 23, 2016: Happy Thanksgiving from All of Us at SGK Wealth Advisors!!