US Markets

Housing in focus for Wall Street this week


U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Monday, as upbeat data from China failed to boost either Asian or European markets.

A flash reading of HSBC's purchasing managers' index showed Chinese manufacturing activity rose for the first time in six months in June. The figure of 50.8 was well above both May's final reading of 49.4 and Reuters estimates for 49.7.

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Developments in Iraq remained in focus. Over the weekend, it was reported that Sunni rebels had secured a number of border crossings into Syria, and potentially Jordan, potentially allowing them to bolster supply lines. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will start a week-long tour of the Middle East this week to try and corral support for the creation of a new government that will attempt to halt the violence.

The start of the week in the U.S. will be dominated by housing market indicators, with existing homes sales figures on Monday to be followed by new home sales numbers on Tuesday and the FHFA and Case-Shiller home price indices.

The sales figures are likely to illustrate a softness in the sector seen since mortgage rates took a step up last year.

"Despite probably rising on the month, existing homes are likely to remain below levels in each month last year, and new home sales are likely to remain within the range of the past 18 months," said Chris Scicluna of Daiwa Capital Markets in a research note on Monday.

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Wednesday will bring the third and final release of first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP), which is likely to show a further notable downward revision to growth.

The week will be a quiet one for earnings, with Nike's quarterly report on Thursday the main focus. Micron Technology and Sonic Corporation will post results on Monday in the meantime.

AbbVie will remain in focus, as takeover target Shire hosts an investor conference call on Monday afternoon detailing why it has been undervalued.