Don’s Notebook May 23, 2018

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New homes have been one of the strongest areas of the economy, however today’s April New Homes Sales Report is expected to show a decrease from the March total.

  • A related announcement from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association already out is that purchase applications for home mortgages fell a seasonally adjusted 2 percent in the May 18 week, conceivably due to rising interest rates.

Global equity markets are under pressure this morning as investors reassess geopolitical risks and digest some disappointing data.

  • Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.4 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.7 percent lower as the yen rallied.
  • In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 1.0 percent lower at 5:40 a.m. Eastern Time as the risk-off mood hit the region where investors were already cautious due to continued Italian political risks.
  • S&P 500 futures pointed to a drop at the open,
  • The 10-year Treasury yield was at 3.017 percent and gold was higher.

At 2pm ET, The Federal Open Market Committee will issue Minutes from its meeting of three weeks ago.

  • How investors view the minutes will factor into pricing forecasts of either three or four interest rate hikes this year.

Retailers that are issuing earnings announcements today include: L Brands, Lowe’s and Target.

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