Following earlier signals that a recovery in housing could well be in progress, the National Association of Realtors said Friday that existing-home sales grew for the fourth month in a row.
The industry group said home sales jumped by a surprising 7.2% in July to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.24 million units, the highest level in two years and the biggest monthly sales increase since record-keeping began a decade ago. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters expected the group to show a mere 2.2% jump.
It should be noted that the increased credit given to first time home buyers will end soon and so it's unclear just how much of this buying is people trying to take advantage of the credit. Still, the market took all this as good news and equities were mostly up.
This morning futures look to open higher responding to increases around the world. The increases, however, are fairly muted in pre markets. All indices are up less than half a percent.
Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury bonds continue their turn the other way following the housing news. They were trading at near 3.4% at the open on Friday and have gained nearly 20 basis points since the housing news. The 10 year U.S. Treasury bond is now at 3.59%. The yield spread between the two and ten year also grew slightly and now is at 2.42%. Crude oil continues to shoot up as well. It's now over $74 per barrel. It's currently at $74.27. Not but two weeks ago, crude oil reached below $60 a barrel.
As I mentioned earlier, all major indices were up. In the Far East, the Hang Seng in China was up 1.67%. the NIKKEI in Japan was up 3.35%, and the Straits Times Index in Singapore was up 2.64%. In Europe, it was more of the same. The FTSE in London was up .49%, the DAX in Germany was up .6%, and the Spanish index was up .76%.
Currencies are quiet right now. The U.S. Dollar is down .02% against the Euro, up .02% against the British pound, and up .31% against the Japanese Yen.