Housing Data Points Every Which Way
A good morning to litmus test your theory on where the housing juggernaut is heading.
This morning’s Wall Street Journal headline is limbo in 36-point type.
- Markets Await Housing Reports
Worries about the potential for an economic recovery dragged U.S. stocks to their worst one-day decline in two months Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 201 points while the S&P 500 slid below the 900 level and turned negative for the year to date.
In addition to concern about the potential for an economic recovery, heavy stock selling by corporate insiders has also weighed on the markets. Insiders of S&P 500 companies have been net sellers for 14 consecutive weeks, according to InsiderScore.com, the longest stretch since June 2007.
At 10 a.m., the National Association of Realtors will report on May sales of existing homes and the Federal Housing Finance Agency will release home-price data for April.
Wall Street analyst consensus calls for a 2.6% month to month increase to 4.8 million home sales. UBS Homebuilding research analyst David Goldberg expects actuals to slightly eclipse the Street. He’s citing a gust of seasonal tailwinds, “still below year ago levels.”
Further, as defaults rise through the back half of 2009, we expec t further pressure on existing home prices.
Also at 10 this morning, the FHFA House Price Index is due. Covering home sales exclusively with conforming loan financing, the HPI has shown none of the volatility nor dramatic cliff diving that the S&P/Case-Shiller Index shows.
The Street consensus calls for a decline in HPI of -0.3% sequentially. UBS notches it down a bit worse, at -0.4%.
Also under lots of scrutiny among housing players will be the FOMC meeting for the Fed’s stance on interest rates and quantitative easing.
What’s your over under on existing homes data just minutes before the release?