Sunday, March 22, 2015

Monday: Existing Home Sales

by Bill McBride on 3/22/2015 07:59:00 PM

From Nick Timiraos at the WSJ: Oil Price Drop Hurts Spending on Business Investments

Prospects for an uptick in business investment this year are facing a major drag: The collapse in oil prices is spurring significant cutbacks for the energy-production industry, which had been a standout in an otherwise lackluster U.S. expansion.

Business capital spending increased 6% last year because of gains from a broad base of U.S. industries. The drag from energy this year could cut that growth rate in half in 2015, according to economists at Goldman Sachs.
Overall the decline in oil prices will be a positive for the US economy, but there are clearly certain sectors that are taking a hit.

Monday:
• 8:30 AM ET, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for February. This is a composite index of other data.

• At 10:00 AM, Existing Home Sales for February from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The consensus is for sales of 4.94 million on seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) basis. Sales in January were at a 4.82 million SAAR. Economist Tom Lawler estimates the NAR will report sales of 4.87 million SAAR.

• At 12:20 PM, Speech by Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, Monetary Policy Lessons and the Way Ahead, At the Economic Club of New York, New York, N.Y

Weekend:
Schedule for Week of March 22, 2015

From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures: currently S&P futures are up 3 and DOW futures are up 30 (fair value).

Oil prices were up slightly over the last week with WTI futures at $46.16 per barrel and Brent at $54.81 per barrel.  A year ago, WTI was at $100, and Brent was at $107 - so prices are down 50%+ year-over-year.

Below is a graph from Gasbuddy.com for nationwide gasoline prices. Nationally prices are up to $2.42 per gallon (down more than $1.00 per gallon from a year ago).   Prices in California are now declining following a refinery fire in February and a strike that is now over.

If you click on "show crude oil prices", the graph displays oil prices for WTI, not Brent; gasoline prices in most of the U.S. are impacted more by Brent prices.



Orange County Historical Gas Price Charts Provided by GasBuddy.com