The markets closed today on a mixed note. Overall, relatively strong earnings have helped push markets toward five-year highs despite economic indicators that have come in all over place. Today, we learned that home prices rose, consumer confidence fell, and retail sales for January are off to a soft start.
At the close: DJIA: +0.52%, S&P 500: +0.55%, NASDAQ: –0.02%.
1) While Monday’s report of pending home sales issued by National Association of Realtors showed uneven progress in the housing market, the rise in home prices for the month of November provided a sign that the sector is recovering.
Home prices have increased for ten consecutive months. Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas met analysts’ expectations with a 0.6 percent gain for the month of November. The rise contributed to a 5.5 percent gain year-over-year, the greatest yearly price increase since August 2006. However, at that time, housing prices were on a downward trajectory. Now, prices appear to be moving upward, and last year’s gains testify that the housing sector is on the mend… (Read more.)