Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence
The major averages enter the final hour with large gains despite disappointing news. The pending home sales index declined for a 3rd consecutive month in May down 1.3 points to 108.5. All regions fell except the Midwest which was unchanged, weakness was notable in the South and West during the month.
The trade balance improved slightly in May to -65.9 billion after exports advanced .5 billion and imports slipped .8 billion. Reflecting weaker auto sales, vehicle imports showed material weakness.
Mortgage activity declined 6.2% last week as per the Mortgage Bankers Association after refis’ slipped 8.6% and purchase apps fell for a 3rd week down 4.1%. The 30-year contract rate for a conforming loan was unchanged at 4.13%.
Reis reports that mall vacancy increased .1% in the second quarter to 10%. Asking rents gained .4% and net absorption was positive so retail continues to hold its own for now despite a parade of high profile retail bankruptcies this year.