ECONOMIC CALENDAR:Monday: Dallas Fed Mfg. Survey Tuesday: Durable Goods Orders, S&P Case-Shiller HPI, New Home Sales, Consumer Confidence Wednesday: EIA Petroleum Status Report, FOMC Meeting Announcement Thursday: Jobless Claims, Pending Home Sales Index Friday: GDP, Employment Cost Index, Chicago PMI, Consumer Sentiment
Quote of the week:
“You have to accept whatever comes, and the only important thing is that you meet it with the best you have to give.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
- Jobless claims fall from 7-month high. Weekly claims for new unemployment benefits dropped last week, erasing the previous week’s increase, which pushed weekly claims to the highest level seen since June. Seasonal factors around holiday hiring are likely to blame for the volatility.
- U.S. factory activity slows. The manufacturing sector continued to grow in January, but the pace of activity slowed as new orders weakened. Though some seasonal factors may be affecting data, job creation in the sector remains steady, indicating underlying demand may not have dropped.
- Single-family housing starts to reach multi-year high. Groundbreaking on new single-family homes reached the highest level in 6-1/2 years in December. Though housing activity has lagged in the last year, the new construction trend could indicate greater demand for housing as the economy improves.
- Mortgage applications surge. The volume of mortgage applications increased dramatically last week, pushing total volume 41% higher than the same period last week, in another hopeful sign for the housing sector. Economists cite low mortgage rates and a reduction in Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance premiums as factors.