US Economy and Credit Markets Week Ended December 23, 2011

Treasury yields were higher this week as the equity market rallied with generally positive U.S. economic news and perhaps fewer negative headlines out of Europe. In economic reports this week, housing starts were reported Monday and increased 9.3% in November to an annual rate of 685,000, strongly beating expectations of 635,000 but existing home sales increased less than expected to an annual rate of 4.42 million vs. expectations of 5.05 million. November new home sales increased 1.6% to an annual rate of 315,000, matching expectations. Durable goods orders increased 3.8% in November, beating the survey estimate of 2.2%. Personal income increased 0.1% in November, slightly below expectations of 0.2%. Personal spending also increased 0.1%, but below expectations of 0.3% growth. Third quarter GDP growth was revised down to 1.8% from 2.0%. The consensus estimated 2.0% growth. The bond market closed early on Friday and will remain closed on Monday, December 26th in observance of the Christmas Day Holiday. Major economic reports (and related consensus forecasts) for next week include: Tuesday: October S&P/Case-Shiller Composite Home Price Index (-0.34%, -3.22% YoY), December Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index (5), December Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity (4.5); Thursday: December Chicago Purchasing Manager Index (61.0), November Pending Home Sales (1.5%), Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Activity (6).
Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2011 @ 9:28 AM

These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.