The major averages enter the final hour with solid gains on generally positive but not overly significant data.
Employment costs advanced .6% in the 1st quarter as expected led by higher benefit costs and, state and local government wages. On a year ago basis employment costs are up 2.8%, wages 2.7% and benefits 2.9%.
The Personal Consumption Expenditures or PCE Deflator gained .1% in June led by a big jump in gasoline and energy prices. Goods prices fell on a notable drop in Durable Goods prices. On a year ago basis the PCE Deflator is up 2.2%, a 4th consecutive month above the Fed’s desired 2% target, that said price pressure remain fairly modest with most of the gains coming from the energy sector and particularly gasoline.
Personal Income increased .4% in June on notable gains in asset, rental and small business or proprietors’ income. On a year ago basis personal income has advanced a decent 3.1% after inflation. The savings rate was unchanged at 6.8%.
Case/Schiller reports that it’s National Home Price Index gained 1.1% in May and 6.4% from a year ago. ON a regional basis Las Vegas was #1 with a .6% gain, followed by San Francisco up .5%. Laggards include New York down .3% and a second monthly decline. Washington and Los Angeles were both unchanged.
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