Buying Trucks, Expensive Homes: It’s 2007 Again
Recapping the day's news and newsmakers through the lens of CNBC.
Auto Sales Up—Way Up
Last month might have been the best June for the auto industry since 2007, propelled by robust truck sales and pent-up demand for work vehicles. Whether that portends an acceleration in home building is still anybody's guess.
General Motors' sales were much better than anticipated at almost 265,000 cars and trucks, a rise of 6.5 percent. Analysts expected growth of 2 percent. GM's Silverado full-size pickup saw its sales rise by 29 percent. And Ford's sales were up as well, by 13.4 percent to almost 236,000 vehicles. Analysts expected an 11.7 percent gain. Sales of Ford's F-150 were up by 24 percent, the best June that model has seen since 2005.
"We could see the best sales since before the recession."—CNBC's Phil LeBeau
"We look at small business owners, those owners that buy or lease trucks for the small businesses, and that was up 40 percent. As far as pickup sales, that was up 70 percent for the small business owners. A lot of good growth in that space."
—Kurt McNeil, v.p. of U.S. sales for General Motors
They'll Take Manhattan
Speaking of 2007, the Manhattan real estate market is sizzling again, at least part of it. Condo sales were at their highest in six years in the second quarter, up almost 16 percent. And with supply so low, prices keep going higher. Active listings were down 31 percent from last year, the lowest level in 13 years, according to real estate firm Douglas Elliman. Condos in Manhattan have a median price of $1.25 million. Even at that price, demand from foreign, all-cash buyers is pushing up prices. The boom is mostly at the top end of market, though. Prices of co-ops, which make up 75 percent of the Manhattan market, were flat over the same time frame. And the low inventory across the board is a sign that, like many real estate markets across the U.S., many homeowners in New York City with big mortgages can't afford to sell.
"Sales across the island were the highest since 2007 this past spring...Developers are targeting the high end with the condos, the top 10 percent of the Manhattan market, which means over the $3 million mark."
—CNBC's Diana Olick
Not So Fast …
Remember those bullish S&P 500 predictions from Monday? Does 1,700 this year and 2,000 next year ring a bell? Well, don't get your hopes up, one analyst is saying, because the index is going down. Not too far down, mind you. Just to 1,500. There just isn't enough support at around 1,620, it seems. Once it reaches that level the market tends to sell off, and the selloff lows seem to be getting lower each time.
"There's a lot of resistance. At this point, if we just play by the book, from the straight-out-from-the-technicals 'lower highs, lower lows,' it wants to drift lower. There's a lot of support around the 200-day, which is the long term uptrend for the S&P. 1,475, 1,500 call it. I don't think it's a huge amount of downside, but I still think there's a correction under way."
—Robert Sluymer of RBC Capital Markets
Buy Ratings Juice Apple
Apple defied the markets Tuesday, gaining over 2 percent even as the major indices fell into negative territory. UBS reiterated its "buy" rating on the company at a $500 price target. On Monday, Raymond James upgraded Apple to a "strong buy" with a price target of $600.
"It does seem like the street is slowly and cautiously getting more bullish on Apple at these current levels and that's helping a lot of suppliers of Apple."
—CNBC's Seema Mody
—By Doug Cubberley, Special to CNBC.com.