Markets continue to trade in mixed fashion within a very narrow range. The Dow closed the day off 8 points to 20,905 on light trading volume. The NASDAQ finished the day slightly higher.
Bloomberg had an interesting article about the US housing market as it enters the spring selling season. The article states that with strong job creation and rising confidence, the inventory for homes has gotten so low that it is overcoming the effects of higher interest rates. For the three months through January, the number of homes on the market is the lowest on record. Prices are up 6.9% YOY and homes are selling at the fastest pace since 2010. Traditionally hot markets in places like Seattle and Denver are now happening in middle American towns like Gary, Indian, (what a wonderful name) Grand Rapids, Madison, Boise and Omaha. The only town left off this gravy train seems to be Westport, WA and Joe, Montana.
WTI crude oil prices fell about 1% to $48.27 a barrel as supply concerns continue to pressure prices. The US rig count continues to move higher and within the energy sector there is a slow gravitational shift away from coal and oil to natural gas and solar power. Gold is higher by $4 an ounce to $1,234 thanks to a weaker dollar following last weekend’s G 20 trade talks in Europe. While higher US interest rates are negative for gold a weak US dollar boosts international buying power for gold. The UK also announced it will initiate article 50 on March 29th and start the two year clock to leave the EU. This uncertainty in Europe might also be a reason for gold’s recent move.
Troop 100 had an Eagle court of honor yesterday for its 151st Eagle in our 75th years as a troop. It is nice to celebrate these young men as they spread their wings and leave the nest of lunkheadedness for a better tomorrow.