US Housing Starts Fall for 2nd Month Running, Stocks Mark Record Highs
$DIA, $SPY, $QQQ, $VXX
- The S&P 500 is at new highs for the 7th session running as The Trump Rally extends
US home-building fell for a 2nd straight month in August, as a rebound in the construction of single-family houses was offset by persistent weakness in the multifamily home segment.
The report from the US Commerce Department Tuesday showed building permits headed to a 7-month high in August. However, permits for single-family home-building, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, fell.
The mixed readings suggested housing could remain a drag on economic growth in Q-3.
Homebuilding has been flat for much of this year amid shortages of land and skilled labor as well as rising costs of building materials.
Housing starts slipped 0.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.18-M units, the US Commerce Department said. Starts for July were revised higher by 35,000 units. Building permits surged 5.7 percent to a rate of 1.30-M units in August, the highest level since January.
The data suggested limited impact on permits from Hurricane Harvey, which lashed Texas in late August and caused unprecedented flooding in Houston. The response rate from areas affected by the storm “was not significantly lower.”
Harvey appeared to have held down home completions, which tumbled 10.2 percent to a 10-month low. The percentage drop in completions was the largest since April 2013. Completions in the South fell 22.2%, the biggest fall in 7 years.
Homebuilding could slump further in September in the aftermath of Harvey and Hurricane Irma, which struck Florida. According to Census Bureau data, the areas in Texas and Florida that were devastated by the storms accounted for about 13% of permits issued in the nation last year.
Meanwhile, the major US stock market indexes finished at all time highs again Tuesday: DJIA +39.45 at 22370.80, NAS Comp +6.68 at 6461.32, S&P 500+2.78 at 2506.65
Volume: Trade on the NYSE came in at a moderate 808-3-M/shares exchanged.
- NAS Comp +20.0% YTD
- DJIA +13.2% YTD
- S&P 500 +12.0% YTD
- Russell 2000 +6.1% YTD
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