Analysts say the partial U.S.-China trade deal doesn't touch on thorny issues plaguing both sides, and warn talks could break down again.World Economyread more
Economists polled by Reuters had expected Chinese exports denominated in the U.S. dollar to fall by 3% and imports to decline by 5.2% in September, compared to a year ago.China Economyread more
The U.S. had plans to hike duties on at least $250 billion in Chinese goods to 30% from 25% on Tuesday. Despite the partial trade deal, some banks on Sunday wrote that tariff...Marketsread more
The industry has pulled in $322 billion over the past six months, the fastest pace since the second half of 2008.Marketsread more
A technical recession occurs when there are two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.Asia Economyread more
"Deepfakes" are being used to depict people in fake videos they did not actually appear in, and can potentially affect elections, diplomacy and how markets move, experts say.Technologyread more
Chinese President Xi Jinping warned on Sunday that any attempt to divide China will be crushed.China Politicsread more
Syria's Kurds said Syrian government forces agreed Sunday to help them fend off Turkey's invasion.World Newsread more
U.S. President Donald Trump said that both sides reached a "very substantial phase one deal" that will address intellectual property and financial services concerns and...Asia Marketsread more
Hagibis dropped record amounts of rain for a period in some spots, according to meteorological officials, causing more than 20 rivers to overflow.Asia Newsread more
A spokesperson for the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has issued a stark warning to the international community.World Newsread more
In the heart of the spring housing market, home builders are less optimistic.
Builder confidence slipped two points in May on a monthly survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). It now stands at 54. Fifty is the line between positive and negative sentiment.
"Consumers are exhibiting caution, and want to be on more stable financial footing before purchasing a home," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "On the bright side, the HMI component measuring future sales expectations has been tracking upward all year, mortgage rates remain low, and house prices are affordable. These factors should spur the release of pent-up demand moving forward."
Perhaps they should, but they haven't so far, as potential home buyers are still facing tight credit conditions and home prices are rising faster than income and employment growth. Sales of newly built homes in March, which represent signed contracts not closings, fell just over 11 percent month-to-month, according to the U.S. Census. Mortgage applications to purchase a home were flat in April, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, suggesting April new home sales might be lower. The average loan size for a newly built home soared to a record $315,670, as builders continue to focus on higher end buyers, not entry level consumers.
Builders are less confident overall, but their sentiment was strangely mixed, again indicative of the still floundering recovery. Of the NAHB index's three components, sales expectations in the next six months rose one point to 64, buyer traffic dropped one point to 39, and current sales conditions fell two points to 59.
Regionally, on a three-month moving average, builder confidence in the South and Midwest each rose one point to 57 and 55, respectively. In the Northeast, it fell by one point to 41, and in the West it dropped three points to 55.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that builder confidence slipped two points in May to 54.