The Market Bull – April 30, 2019
The major averages finished uneven today after recovering much of their early losses on generally positive data, earnings are coming in mixed.
Employment costs advanced .7% in the first quarter led by strong gains more or less across the board. On a year ago basis compensation is up a respectable 2.8%, slightly ahead of the Consumer Price Index.
The CoreLogic Case-Schiller home price index snapped a string of losses with a .2% gain in February as the year ago rate hit 4%, continuing its decline began in early 2018. The top 3 cites with an increase during February include Tampa +.9%, Denver +.6%, while San Diego and San Francisco both gained .5%. At the other end of the spectrum Boston slipped .2%, Los Angeles fell .1% and Charlotte was unchanged. That said the recent weakness in real estate shows some improvement of late as interest rates drift back down.
The National Association of Realtors or NAR Housing Index gained 3.9 points in March to 105.8 on strength in the West and South, the Northeast slipped again. A second strong figure in the last 3-months as lower interest rates once again help to drive sales. On a year ago basis all regions but the South fell.
Agricultural prices posted a second consecutive solid gain in March up 2.8% on a huge jump in commercial vegetable prices and to a lesser extent livestock and dairy costs. On a year ago basis prices are down 3.4% in the aggregate.
Standard and Poors 500 Index closed at: 2,945.83 up 2.80
NASDAQ finished the day: 8,095.39 down 66.47
Gold ended trading at: $1,285.20 up $3.70