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This week we announced that the Stock Rover research platform now has over $3,000,000,000 (3 Billion) of funds contained in customer linked brokerage portfolio accounts. You can read the press release here. If you haven’t signed up for brokerage connect and are interested, you can learn more here.
We have a guest post from an experienced long term investor, who is a dedicated Stock Rover user and also a former world record holder in the 50 meter backstroke, Randall Bal. Randall writes about Buffett’s two rules of investing. You can read the post here.
Despite existing home sales falling -8.5% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million, sales continued their 9-month streak of yearly increases, and were up +0.8% compared to March 2019. On a regional basis, yearly sales fell in the Northeast (-3.0%), and the West (-0.9%), and grew in the Midwest (+4.2%), and the South (+0.9%). The median home price was $280,600, up +8.0% for the year and continuing a 97-month long streak of yearly price gains. Median home prices were the highest in the West ($420,600, +8.0% Y/Y), followed by the Northeast ($300,400, +8.3% Y/Y), the South ($245,100, +7.0% Y/Y), and the Midwest ($219,700, +9.7% Y/Y). The inventory of homes available for sale was up to 1.50 million units, which is a 3.4 month supply, and an increase from February’s 3.0 month supply, but down from 3.8 months a year ago.
The IHS Markit Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index for mid-April recorded the sharpest contraction since the report series began in late 2009. The index for Service Activity dropped from 39.8 to 27.0, with service providers cutting staffing and lowering output prices as demand fell both nationally and globally. The Manufacturing Index fell from 48.5 to 36.9, with many respondents noting cancelled or postponed orders. Both input and output costs dropped for manufacturing, and although the number of US manufacturing workers fell, firms were able to catch up on backlogs because of the drop in new orders. The report stated that business confidence had turned pessimistic, and a PMI spokesman noted that “The scale of the fall in the PMI adds to signs that the second quarter will see an historically dramatic contraction of the economy”.
New durable goods orders fell -14.4% in March, to $213.2 billion from an upwardly revised $249.2 billion in February. The decrease was led by a -41.0% drop in transportation orders, with civilian aircraft orders down -295.7% and motor vehicle orders down -18.4%. Orders excluding transportation were only down -0.2% for the month. New orders dropped in all categories with the exception of communications equipment (+3.7%), and electrical equipment (+1.5%). Defense aircraft orders were up +63.7%, and defense capital goods were up +4.3%, helping to boost overall orders, and new orders excluding defense were down -15.8%. Capital goods orders were down -33.4%, although core capital goods, which exclude aircraft and defense, were up +0.1%.
Wednesday April 29 – GDP, 2020 Q1
Thursday April 30 – Personal Consumption Expenditures