In a fairly busy data day, new-home sales were down 7%. The figure would be disappointing if not for the year-to-date number, which stands at up 6.7%. Sales printed at 673,000 seasonally adjusted for the annual rate in April, according to the Commerce Department. While lower than March, it is worth noting that every month’s tally since December has been revised higher. Median sales prices were up 8% year over year to $342,200. The pace of new home construction is 7.2% lower than this time last year.
Initial jobless claims dropped 1,000 to 211K, lower than the market forecast. After a spike last month, the number is back near a 50-year low. The 4-week average is 220,250. Both numbers reflect the tight job market. The number of benefit applications fell slightly, and continuing benefits rose slightly, although this time last year the number of those collecting was 100,000 higher.
A much weaker than expected Private Mortgage Insurance number, down to 50.9 from 53 for services and composite readings, has negatively impacted risk sentiment.
The May Kansas Manufacturing data fell to 4 from 5, and while on headline not a large miss, the details indicated a lot of trade-related weakness. Production led the decline, falling from 12 to 2. New orders fell from 8 to 6, the volume of new orders fell from 10 to 4, and shipments went negative from 9 to -2.
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