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In The Cue… Confidence, Real Estate Numbers (Nowhere To Go But Up?)

It was a light week in terms of economic data, but an important one on the real estate front - though not a great one. We did see a bump and a ‘beat’ in the number of building permits requested. There were 574K permits issued in May, and analysts were looking for 572K this time. We actually saw 586K permits issued in June, indicating that future construction activity will be stronger than the recent past.

Other than that though, real estate seems to be suffering. The National Homebuilder’s Index (a confidence index, mostly) fell to multi-month lows, housing starts were down by even more than expected, and existing home sales fell by about 5%.

New unemployment claims bounced back up to 464K, right where they’ve been hovering for weeks, and undoing an encouraging drop in the prior week. Ongoing claims did make a significant move lower to 4.48 million.

Economic Calendar

There’s a lot more in store for the coming week. New homes sales will be unveiled on Monday, with the Case-Shiller Index being updated in Tuesday; both are forecasted to show modest improvements. The same goes for Wednesday’s durable orders (even if the bulk of the improvement is aircraft sales).

On the confidence front, look for the Conference Board’s Consumer confidence figure - which plunged like a rock last month - to be released on Tuesday, while the University of Michigan Sentiment index will be updated on Friday. The former is expected to move down, while the latter is anticipated to go up.

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James Brumley is a freelance writer and registered investment advisor. He began his career as a broker with a major Wall Street firm, where fundamentals and long-term holding periods were core strategies. After that, he switched gears completely, becoming an analyst at a short-term trading newsletter that focused on technical analysis. He now manages client money using the best of both philosophies. His company, Bluegrass Portfolio Management, offers investors an opportunity to reap superior returns with minimized risk.