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Caleb Lawrence – KPIG-KPYG Radio – Share the Wealth – March 9, 2017

The major averages moved higher in morning trade on generally positive but not overly significant data, slipped late and enter the final hour about even. One has to wonder if the Trump trade is at material risk of becoming the chump trade.

Import prices hit a 5-year high in February up .2% for the month to 4.6% on a year ago basis driven by higher energy and fuel prices. Export prices gained .3% for the month and 3.1% from a year ago. This report is about the only one I can think of that shows price increases solidly above the Fed’s desired 2% target, with the recent sharp declines in energy prices will see how this holds up going forward.

CoreLogic reports that higher home prices have lifted nearly everyone out of negative equity last year. Noting that over 1-million homeowners returned to the black in 2016 with an average equity gain of $13,700 leaving just 6.2% of all homes with a mortgage or 3.17 million still underwater. At the state level Nevada had the highest percentage of homes with negative equity at 13.6%, Florida is 2nd with 11.6%, followed by Illinois 11.1%, Rhode Island 10% and Arizona 9.8%. These top five states combined account for nearly 30% of negative equity but only 16.3% of outstanding mortgages.

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