Thank goodness Q1 is over! Here's a summary of month-end and Q1 stats for stocks, commodities and currencies...
Homebuilder DR Horton tried to kill two birds with one stone this past weekend: unloading inventory and cleaning up the image of the housing market -- at least in a few towns in Southern California. The company held a first-come, first-served “Un-Auction."
Stocks retreated Thursday after another analyst warning on the financial sector and disappointing earnings from Oracle.
I’m working on a story for TV today about which builders are in the deepest doo-doo after the Commerce Dept. reports single family permits down 6.2 percent in January. Permits are down 30 percent since the August credit freeze and down 57 percent from their peak in September of 2005.
Homebuilder stocks have staged a remarkable turnaround in 2008, despite a torrent of bad news, but the share prices of many are still closer to the floor than the roof.
Homebuilder Toll Brothers on Wednesday announced that it expects to post a 22 percent drop in first-quarter home-building revenue. The top U.S. luxury builder said home-building revenue was $842.7 million for the three months ended Jan. 31, down from $1.09 billion in the year-ago quarter. But one analyst hasn't given up hope.
To date 291 (just under 60%) of the S&P 500 companies have reported earnings. Here's a look at which companies have had the biggest surprises so far...
Stocks closed with a big rally, led by beaten-down financial shares, but still ended one of the worst Januarys in years.
Shares of Pulte Homes surged to a 3-month high Thursday, as Wall Street cheered the third-largest homebuilder's improved liquidity position.
Futures dropped at 8:30 ET because jobless claims numbers higher than expected have somewhat hopes that the nonfarm payrolls report tomorrow will be stronger than expected. There are two noteworthy trends from companies announcing earnings:
While there's lots of important economic and earnings news Wednesday, we all know what matters most to the markets. That is whether the Fed cuts a quarter point or a half point from its target Fed funds rate.
Stocks closed higher in another jittery session, helped by expectations of another Fed rate cut and an economic stimulus package from the federal government.
I want to address an issue I mentioned yesterday which generated a lot of reader mail. I wrote: “You can’t do a stated income loan anymore, and you can’t do 100 percent financing.” I was actually quoting a mortgage expert I had spoken with earlier who was trying to make the point that despite the Fed rate cut, lending standards today are far tighter than they were just six months ago.
It’s the last day of 2007, which means everyone and their broker are busy with predictions for 2008, but I’d caution you in using today’s numbers from the National Association of Realtors as any basis for prediction.
I've never claimed to be an economist (just play one on TV), but I have held a few yard sales in my time, so this I know: If something isn't selling, lower the price. So how can new home sales be reportedly dropping 9 percent while the price of a new home rose month-to-month from $229,500 to $239,100?!
So I was clicking through all the sale spams in my inbox this morning -- from all the major retailers -- offering me 25 to 60 percent off on cashmere items, plasma TVs, sateen sheets and unwanted DVDs. Suddenly it occurred to me that one group of retailers was conspicuously absent: America’s big home builders.
I'm out of the office today, but I'll be back -- and blogging -- on Wednesday. Happy Holidays!
The folks at HUD felt that my blog of yesterday left out some key points, namely, their side of the story, so I am happy to post a reply directly from them.
Stocks reversed a huge rally and closed with modest gains as dour forecasts from several banks overshadowed a Federal Reserve plan to ease the global credit crunch.
Betting on real estate these days is not for the faint of heart. Between the housing correction, economic uncertainty, the credit crisis and predicted softening in the commercial property markets, determining where to invest for future returns requires an extra dose of due diligence and, let's face it, good old-fashioned courage.