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The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index reported an 8.4% annual gain in October. The last time that the Home Price Index matched the 8.4% growth rate was in March 2014. The housing market’s strength was broadly-based: 19 cities (Detroit excluded due to COVID reporting delays) gained more in the 12 months ending in October than they had gained in the 12 months ending in September. The biggest price gain occurred in Phoenix, with a 12.7% year-over-year price increase, followed by Seattle with 11.7% and San Diego at 11.6. Craig Lazzara, Managing Director at S&P Dow Jones Indices indicated COVID was a driving factor stating “…the data from the last several months are consistent with the view that COVID has encouraged potential buyers to move from urban apartments to suburban homes.”
The US Census Bureau reported that the U.S. goods international trade deficit increased $4.4 billion to $84.8 billion in November. Exports of goods were up slightly to $127.2 billion from October’s $1.1 billion. However, imports outpaced exports increasing $5.5 billion to $212 billion. Wholesale inventories for November were estimated at a seasonally adjusted $649.0 billion, down 0.1% from October 2020, and down 2.2% from November 2019. Retail inventories were estimated at a seasonally adjusted $616.9 billion, up 0.7% from October 2020, and down 7.1% from November 2019.
The Labor Department reported seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims declined for the week ending December 26 to 787,000. The previous week’s level was revised up by 3,000 to 806,000. The four-week moving average reached 836,750, an increase of 17,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 819,000. Initial claims surged in California and New York while Illinois, Texas, Florida, and Georgia experienced significant decreases. Continuing claims, which include those receiving unemployment benefits for at least two straight weeks, dropped by 103,000 to 5.219 million for the week ending December 19. The number of jobless receiving benefits across all unemployment programs dropped by 800,000 to 19.6 million.
Tuesday January 5 – ISM Manufacturing PMI (Dec)
Friday January 8 – Unemployment Rate (Dec)