A good thing to keep in mind about any data-based conclusion in financial markets is that details matter. This is true both in terms of the reference to market movement in the headline as well as several of the day's economic releases.
For instance, it is true that stocks and bonds are essentially unchanged after the morning's economic data, but that's based on yesterday's closing levels. Compared to 9:59am, stocks are weaker and bonds are stronger, suggesting the 10am economic data helped us get back to unchanged levels day-over-day.
This issue of the initial point of reference is important for today's housing data as well. Time is running a story touting a housing market that is "roaring back" based on the 9am home price data. Of course, it's good to be optimistic, and it certainly gets more attention from realtors and mortgage folks in this industry, but it's also good to be realistic. And realistically, prices may be turning a corner just as much as they may be set to move higher.
Details continue to be important when we look at the New Home Sales data. While 440k (today's headline) is pretty close to the 445k forecast, the real story may be the burgeoning stagnancy between 440k and 460k.
All that having been said, if we stay true to 'details mattering,' it's worth noting that New Home Sales, as a data set, has a wide margin of error, not to mention the fact that data can certainly level-off in this sort of way before continuing to move higher. The point is that a firm conclusion is impossible to make right now. Even though that's not as interesting as "roaring," etc., it's at least more accurate.
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