New Home Sales
Following the March pending home sales report which saw growth moderate after February's 3.6% surge to 1.1%, the flurry of contract signings, not actual purchases, in April rebounded by 3.4% - the biggest jump since September 2012 - far above the 0.9% consensus estimate and 14% higher than a year ago, pushing the pending home sales index to 112.4, the highest level since 2006. The driver: pending sales in the Northeast, which soared 10.1% from the month before, and 9.4% from a year ago.
It had been a painfully quiet session in Asia (where Chinese levitation continues with the Shanghai Composite up another 0.6% oblivious of yesterday's rout in the US, because as we explained for China it is now critical to blow the world's biggest stock bubble) and Europe, where the only notable news as that for the first time in months the ECB had not increase the Greek ELA, keeping it at €80.2 billion on conflicting reports that Greek deposit withdrawals had halted even as Kathimerini said another €300MM had been pulled just yesterday, suggesting the ECB has reached the end of its road when it comes to funding nearly two-thirds of what Greek deposits are left in local banks. But the punchline came moments ago when Bloomberg reported that "Greece will likely miss a deadline for a deal with creditors by the end of the week as the two sides have made little progress during talks in recent days."
... at least according to the Atlanta Fed. Based on the one GDP model which hasn't lost all credibility and which for the past 3 months has captured the attention to wannabe weathermen and other Wall Street strategists, today's bevy of stronger than expected data, everything from Durable Goods, to core CapEx, to New Home Sales, to Case Shiller, to Consumer Confidence, and even the Richmond Fed was sufficient to push Q2 GDP... by 0.1% to 0.8%.
Following last month's disappointing slump to only 481K new home sales in March (now revised to 484K) which was the biggest drop in nearly 2 years driven by a collapse in Northeast transactions, according to the latest new home sales data by the Census Bureau housing rebounded back over 500K, printing at 517K thanks to a 37% sequential jump in Midwest new home sales, which rebounded from 57K to 78K, even as sales in the Northeast continued to decline and even the West saw a modest drop.
In an important interview with Reuters in 2012, John Butler suggested that if one country - he cited Russia - were to back its currency with gold it could cause a 20% collapse in the dollar in just 24 hours. In order to stabilise the currency and in an attempt to preserve the reserve currency status of the dollar, the U.S. would be forced against its will to back its currency with gold.
While yesterday most markets were closed and unable to express their concerns at the very strong showing of "anti-austerity" parties in Spain's municipal election from Sunday, then today they have free reign to do just that, and as a result European stocks are broadly lower, alongside the EURUSD which dripped under 1.09 earlier today, with Spanish banks among the worst performers: Shares of Banco Sabadell, Bankia, Caixabank and Popular were down 1.8 to 2.3% earlier this morning, and while the stronger dollar was a gift to both the Nikkei and Europe in early trading, after opening in the green, Spain's IBEX has since slid into the red on concerns of what happens if the Greek anti-status quo contagion finally shifts to the Pyrenees.
With US markets closed for the Memorial Day holiday, and some of the key European markets likewise shuttered for public holiday including the UK, Germany and Switzerland, it is difficult to find where one can observe or trade the weekend's newsflow, which is once again centered on developments in Europe, where on Sunday Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party suffered its worst result in a municipal election in 24 years while Greece continues to threaten with default 5 some years after it should have officially pulled the plug.
A look at the economic data and market psychology as a new week begins.
As a result of constant jawboning that the PBOC may not only cut rates even more but proceed to launch QE (which it will ultimately, just not for a while), both the Shanghai Composite has been trading at multi-year highs and oil has found a bid strong enough that in the past two months it has surged by some 50% on hopes that Chinese demand will finally come back once the local economy is so weak it leaves the PBOC no other choice. However, two things suggest that the great "reflation" trade is ending.
Following the plunge in new home sales (and surge in existing home sales), pending home sales rose slightly more than expected in March. Up 1.1% MoM (vs +1.0% exp), this is still a slowing in the pace of appreciation from February's upwardly revised 3.6% jump. A 13.4% surge YoY (NSA) has prompted exuberance from NAR as they throw off any vestiges of weather-related problems and proclaims the spring housing market is back (except Northeast saw sales drop 1.5% - for the 4th straight month; and The Midwest fell 2.5% MoM).
Well, the Nasdaq finally did it. So if you invested in the Nasdaq at the peak of the dotcom bubble, you are just finally breaking even 15 years later. Unfortunately, the truth is that stocks have not been soaring because the U.S. economy is fundamentally strong. Just like the last two times, what we are witnessing is an irrational financial bubble. Sometimes these irrational bubbles can last for a surprisingly long time, but in the end they always burst. And even now there are signs of economic trouble bubbling to the surface all around us.
UK debt has continued to rise throughout the recovery and has soared to an eye-watering £1.48 trillion. In recent days, a slew of foreign exchange analysts have warned that the pound is vulnerable to falling in value. The incumbent government have not reined in public and trade deficits and have been accused of juicing the property market and the economy to postpone a crisis until after the election.
Futures Fizzle After Greece "Hammered" In Riga, Varoufakis Accused Of Being "A Time-Waster, Gambler, Amateur"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/24/2015 06:59 -0400
Even though no rational person expected that the Greek situation would be resolved at today's talks in Riga, Latvia, apparently the algos were so caught up in spoofing each other to new record highs that futures, after surging once more overnight following the latest Google miss which sent the company and the Nasdaq soaring, actually dipped modestly into the red following headlines that the latest Greek talks have broken down after a "hostile" Troika "hammered" the Greek finmin, who was accused by European finmins of "being a time-waster, a gambler and an amateur."
US stocks are open - Panic Buy. PMI missed! - Buy moar on bad data. New Home Sales miss - even better - buy moar as bad news is good news. Yesterday's highs hit... Stop-run complete... unleash the selling...
After existing home sales sent stocks vertical on great news, so new home sales plunge has sent stocks vertical on bad news. An 11.1% drop MoM - the biggest since July 2013 - dragged new home sales back below 500k to 481k SAAR - the biggest miss in a year. Sales of new homes collapse 33.3% in The Northeast and The South saw new home sales crash 15.8%.