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Caleb Lawrence – KPIG-KPYG Radio – Share the Wealth – January 31, 2017

The major averages struggled into the final hour with modest losses on mixed news as the confrontational nature of the Trump administration rattles the status quo.

Case Schiller reports that November home prices advanced .2% for the month and 5.6% annualized. On a year ago basis Seattle posted the largest advance with a 10.4% gain, followed by Portland up 10.1%, and Denver with an 8.7% increase.

Employment costs advanced .6% in the 4th quarter of 2016 led by surprisingly even gains in income and benefits across the public and private sectors. For all of 2016 total compensation was up 2.2%, income increased 2.3%, while benefits advanced 2%. Figures slightly ahead of inflation and not particularly remarkable one way or the other.

Agricultural prices snapped a string on notable declines in November with a 3.5% gain as poultry, vegetable and dairy prices jumped.

The Standard and Poors 500 earnings season is off to a decent start with earnings growing 4.2% on a blended basis so far. The initial earnings beat rate is 65% while 52% of companies have managed to exceed revenue targets. The energy sector drags with the 2nd highest annual earnings decline of all sectors since 2008. Other notable reports include Apple later today and Facebook tomorrow.

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