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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Monday: Existing Home Sales

by Calculated Risk on 9/21/2014 08:38:00 PM

Another excellent article from Nick Timiraos at the WSJ: Should Mortgage Lending Standards Ease?

Easy credit fueled the home-price bubble of the past decade, which spurred overbuilding of homes and boosted consumer spending on everything from cars to college educations. Mortgage investors suffered huge losses after prices collapsed, and private lending markets have struggled to revive. Banks now are sharply limiting their mortgage offerings.

Subprime auto lending, by comparison, contracted sharply during the recession but has roared back—at a pace nearly four times that of prime lending over the past four years.

Auto lending has rebounded in part because investors didn't take the drubbing that mortgage investors did. Loans are smaller, cars can be repossessed faster than homes when borrowers default, and the collateral is easier to value. Car sales have also been fueled by an aging fleet that has resulted in pent-up demand.
• At 8:30 AM ET, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for August. This is a composite index of other data.

• At 10:00 AM, Existing Home Sales for August from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The consensus is for sales of 5.18 million on seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) basis. Sales in July were at a 5.15 million SAAR. Economist Tom Lawler estimates the NAR will report sales of 5.12 million SAAR.

Schedule for Week of September 21st

From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures: the S&P futures are down slightly and DOW futures are up slightly (fair value).

Oil prices were up over the last week with WTI futures at $92.41 per barrel and Brent at $98.08 per barrel.  A year ago, WTI was at $104, and Brent was at $110 - so prices are down 10%+ year-over-year.

Below is a graph from for nationwide gasoline prices. Nationally prices are around $3.35 per gallon (down almost 15 cents from a year ago).  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