Testing 4: The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released its U.S. House Price Index (HPI) for January. U.S. house prices were up 0.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted nominal basis from the previous month. Year-over-year the index is up 7.3% (nonseasonally adjusted). Seasonally adjusted, the index is up 5.60% year-over-year.
Testing: timing. The latest Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for February increased to 108.7 from 108.0 in January. The Coincident Economic Index (CEI) came in at 103.3, up from the previous month.
Testing round 4: description. The latest index came in at 17, unchanged from last month, which indicates that activity expanded in March. The future outlook decreased to 33 from 38 last month. Here is a snapshot of the complete Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Survey.
This week, the S&P 500 continued to decline with 3 days of losses. The index closed Thursday at its lowest yet of the week and fell 3.77% from this time last week. It is down 1.93% YTD and is 8.0% below its record close.
This morning's seasonally adjusted 229K new claims, up 3K from the previous week's figure, was above the Investing.com forecast of 225K. From the release: "The claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal."
The latest price of home heating oil nationwide is $3.06, unchanged from last week and up 40 cents since the beginning of the season.
The Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) monthly data on volume sales is several weeks old when it released. The latest numbers, through mid-January, are now available. However, despite the lag, this report offers an interesting perspective on fascinating aspects of the US economy. Gasoline prices and increases in fuel efficiency are important factors, but there are also some significant demographic and cultural dynamics in this data series.
This morning's release of the February Existing-Home Sales increased from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.54 million units. The Investing.com consensus was for 5.41 million. The latest number represents a 3.0% increase from the previous month and a 1.1% increase year-over-year.
Let's take a closer look at recent activity in US Treasuries. The yield on the 10-year note ended Tuesday at 2.89% and the 30-year bond closed at 3.12%. The 2-10 yield spread is now at 0.58%.
Note: With the release of February Retail Sales and Consumer Price Index, we've updated this commentary to include the latest Real Retail Sales. Month-over-month nominal sales in February decreased by 0.1% (0.07% to two decimals). Real Retail Sales, calculated with the seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index, decreased by 0.22%.