Weekly Economic Update
Posted: May 28, 2018
Home Sales Decline
Both new and existing home sales weakened in April, according to reports from the Census Bureau and National Association of Realtors. Resales were down 2.5%; new home buying, 1.5%. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun cited “the utter lack of available listings on the market” as the “root cause” of the retreat in resales. Existing home sales were down 1.4% year-over-year through April; on the other hand, the pace of new home buying improved 8.4% in the same 12 months. Zillow says that existing home values soared 8.7% in the year ending in April; that is the largest annualized jump it has recorded since June 2006.1,2
Consumer Sentiment Turns Slightly Lower
The University of Michigan’s preliminary May consumer sentiment index came in at 98.0 on Friday, 0.8 points below its final April reading. The gauge was 0.9 points above its year-ago level.3
Oil Takes a Fall
WTI crude suffered a 4.9% loss last week on the NYMEX. The price settled at $67.88 Friday after a 4.2% single-day dive. That was the lowest close since May 1. The main reason for the drop? News that OPEC countries and Russia may boost output to counter production slumps in Iran and Venezuela.4
A Positive Five Days for Stocks
All three major Wall Street equity indices advanced last week. Leading the way, the Nasdaq Composite improved 1.08% to 7,433.85. The S&P 500 added 0.31% to settle at 2,721.33 Friday; the Dow Industrials gained 0.15% to reach 24,753.09.5
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1 - investopedia.com/news/home-values-jumped-87-april-0/ [5/25/18]
2 - tinyurl.com/y86fcsr3 [5/23/18]
3 - sca.isr.umich.edu/ [5/25/18]
4 - marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-slide-as-opec-russia-mull-output-increase-2018-05-25 [5/25/18]
5 - markets.wsj.com/us [5/25/18]