Markets pulled back as rising healthcare stocks were offset by falling oil related stocks. The Dow went “Bow-wow” and finished off 57 to 21,410 on heavier trading volume.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that existing home sales increased 1.1% in May to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.62 million units. This surprised the gurus who were expecting a half point decline. The unexpected increase was the third highest monthly level of home sales in a decade and this, coupled with a chronic inventory shortage, pushed the median house price up 5.8% to an all-time high of $252,800. While the May NAR report showed a 2.1% increase in supply of homes on the market the housing inventory is still 8.4% lower than this time last year and sits at 4.2 months.
Here in the Seattle/Bellevue area we have seen an increase in the number of homes on the market and there is speculation that this is being driven in part by middle income families moving out due to high property taxes and landlords selling long held, highly appreciated rental homes over concerns for rising taxes and new rental laws passed by the city council.
In late breaking news Harley Davidson has hired Goldman Sachs to help with its rumored efforts to buy the Italian bike maker Ducati! This is “Monster”… as in Ducati M900 Monster! The only question behind this possible merger is…….”can opposites coexist?”
Oil prices continue to plummet on glut concerns. When oil prices drop, shares of Winnebago move higher and the company becomes “Winner-Bago” on the promise of cheaper gasoline boosting RV sales. WTI crude closed the day at $42.30 off about 2.4%.