Markets Optimistic Ahead of Real Estate Data
After dropping 3.06% to begin the week yesterday, S&P 500 futures are moderately higher before Tuesday’s opening bell. Twin releases from the real estate market will help determine if those gains can be extended upon.
The monetary policy meeting from the FOMC begins this morning but no announcements on policy will be released until tomorrow afternoon. Investors will be speculating upon potential decisions the Fed could make on purchasing long-term bonds, while the key target rate is widely expected to remain in the zero to 0.25% range.
The main event on the docket today is the 10 am release of Existing Home Sales, which saw a 2.9% gain to an annualized pace of 4.680 million units in April. Excess inventories and reduced prices are helping buyers get into the market, but continued job losses are reducing the pool of potential home buyers.
For May, the pending home sales index points to another gain, with the consensus looking for a 3.6% gain to 4.850 million units.
BMO economist Michael Gregory said the index hasn’t seen back-to-back gains since 2005, so a second straight advance could point towards stability.
However, he also noted that bargain hunters are driving the market as foreclosures account for half of the sales. With mortgage rates soaring in June, there’s reason to believe an uptick in May won’t continue into June.
Also at 10 a.m., the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will release its house price index, which analysts believe will fall by 0.3% in the month after a 1.1% decline last month. The FHFA index, which is calculated using purchase prices of homes sold with mortgages guaranteed by Fannie Mae, is less influential than the Case Shiller survey.
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