Housing starts came in lower than expected, adding to the speculation that economic growth is slowing. Home builders have begun adjusting their building plans after existing home sales fell 30% in May because of the expiration of the federal home buyer tax credits.
Treasuries are relatively unchanged this morning arfter Friday’s rally following the low reading on the consumer confidence report. Today, we have the NAHB housing market index at 10 a.m. EST which measures the general state of the single family home building market. It is expected to drop to 16. A reading can come in between 0 to 100, and below 50 indicates a poor builder outlook.
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According to RealtyTrac”s Midyear Report, the US housing market experienced a total of 1,961,894 foreclosures filings so far this year, a potential threat to the market’s “fragile stability.”
Yesterday’s release of the FOMC minutes showed a cautious Fed with a downward revision to 2010 growth. Most investors had already speculated that the Fed would remain accomodative over concerns that the economic recovery is slowing. Initial claims continue to show no real signls if improvement. The continuing claims fell, but it is widely believed that the decline in the number of people receiving benefits is due more to people running out of benefits than a surge in hiring.
The morning, retail sales came in down .5% versus the expectations of .3% which is pushing the bond market up slightly from yesterday’s close. The MBA mortgage applications report showed that demand for loans to purchase US homes sunk to a 13-year low last week. In the afternoon, the market will be focusing on the minutes from the last FOMC meeting where many expect to find that Fed officials have lowered their economic growth outlook.
Yesterday, the Treasury began their weekly auction activity with the sale of $35 billion 3-year notes. This was the first of three auctions for the week. The auction did not have much impact on Treasuries or mortgage bonds even though demand was a bit weaker than expected. There’s not much in the way of the impactful economic releases today. The Treasury will continue this week’s activity with the auction of $21 billion in 10-year notes today.
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There is no economic news slated for today, however, it will be an extremely busy week of releases. Some of the key releases include the minutes of the last FOMC meeting, Thursday’s Senate hearing include the minutes of the last FOMC meeting, Thursday’s Senate hearing on Obama’s Federal Reserve Board nominees, June’s Consumer Price index, Producer Price Index, Philly Fed business index, and this week’s Treasury auctions.