The deal between the White House and Democrats would raise the debt ceiling for two years and permanently end the sequester.Politicsread more
"Whether it's this year or next year, the odds of another economic downturn are high — and growing," Warren says.Politicsread more
A group of gold miners stocks, "BAANG," are better plays than mega-cap FAANG names, according to John Roque, technical analyst at Wolfe Research.Marketsread more
A different oil pricing dynamic has been evolving with new supply calculations based on the U.S. as the world's largest producer.Market Insiderread more
Equifax will give consumers a range of options for monitoring their credit or making claims of fraud or data misuse, part of a $425 million restitution fund.Technologyread more
Trade tensions that could lead to layoffs and a pullback from consumers are at the center of the recession case.Economyread more
Microsoft and OpenAI announced a new partnership to build artificial general intelligence to tackle more complex tasks than current AI.Technologyread more
There's a reason the film industry doesn't measure the success of modern movies against those of the past — movie ticket inflation isn't an exact science.Entertainmentread more
A US judge presiding over multidistrict litigation alleging J&J's talc baby powder causes ovarian cancer starts hearing from experts Monday.Health and Scienceread more
Investors with $1 million or more in the market expect the pace of stock market gains to slow over the remainder of 2019. But these wealthy self-directed brokerage account...Investingread more
Air-conditioner maker Lennox International pointed to colder weather as a key reason for cutting guidance and underperforming in the second quarter.Marketsread more
The nation's homebuilders are feeling positive about their business, but not as much as they did a year ago.
A monthly sentiment measure held steady at 62 from February to March, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. The index stood at 70 in March 2018. Anything above 50 is considered positive.
"Builders report the market is stabilizing following the slowdown at the end of 2018, and they anticipate a solid spring home buying season," said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde, a homebuilder and developer from Torrington, Connecticut.
Mortgage rates rose throughout most of last year but have since fallen to below year-ago levels. That should help make all homes more affordable, but new homes come at a higher price than similar existing ones.
Weak affordability has been the biggest problem in the new home market, as builders have largely focused on move-up homes rather than cheaper entry-level products. The median price of a new home sold in January was down nearly 4 percent annually, according to the U.S. Census. That was not necessarily because builders were lowering prices, but because a larger share of entry-level homes sold that month. Sales in January fell to a three-month low.
"More builders are saying that lower price points are selling well, and this was reflected in the government's new home sales report released last week," said Robert Dietz, NAHB's chief economist. "Increased inventory of affordably priced homes — in markets where government policies support such construction — will enable more entry-level buyers to enter the market."
Builders say they continued to have trouble building lower-priced homes, however, due to shortages of skilled labor and buildable lots.
Of the index's three components, sales expectations in the next six months rose 3 points over the past month to 71, current sales conditions increased 2 points to 68, and traffic of prospective buyers fell 4 points to 44. Buyer traffic has been in negative territory for several months.
Looking at three-month moving averages, builder sentiment in the Northeast rose 5 points to 48, the South was up 3 points to 66 and the West increased 2 points to 69. Sentiment in the Midwest fell 1 point to 51.
WATCH: Aging in place