The major U.S. stocks were rising Friday heading into the weekend. As of noon:
|DIJA: +0.08% to 14,975.19||S&P 500: +0.16% to 1,659.64||NASDAQ: +0.32% to 3,650.22|
|Gold: +2.21% to 80.37||Oil: +1.25% to 25.12||U.S. 10-Year: -2.59% to 28.26|
Here are three stories helping shape the market Friday afternoon.
1. Are Higher Interest Rates Defeating New Home Sales? The real estate market has been one of the strongest pillars in the economic recovery, but higher interest rates are starting to weigh on new single-family home sales. On Friday, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that purchases of new homes, measured by contracts signed, plunged 13.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted 394,000-unit pace in July compared to the downwardly revised June rate of 455,000 units. Home sales were up 6.8 percent from a year earlier, but the housing market is still well below its glory days.
Prior to the disappointing report, new home sales had increased for four consecutive months. On average, economists were expecting a pace of about 490,000 units. July’s reading was the biggest miss of expectations since May 2010… (Read more.)