The markets are headed towards new highs at midday on continued hopes that a tax overhaul is closer to become a reality. Advancers led decliners 1632/1224 on the NYSE and 1766/1021 on the NASDAQ. Currently, the DOW is on track to close up almost 2% on the week (1.86% now).
On the economic front, existing home sales unexpectedly increased 0.7% in September to a rate of 5.39 million as the impact of Hurricane Harvey and Irma start to subside. However, this was the second slowest pace in over a year, and 1.5% below the prior year period. Economist had forecasted sales dropping 1% to 5.30 units. Supply constraints and higher prices are impacting affordability, especially where it’s most crucial, the first time homebuyers, who represented the lowest share of purchases since September 2015.
The lack of supply continues to fuel the homebuilders and their share prices. As a matter of fact, the U.S. Home Construction ETF, ITB, is at a 10-year high.
Oil prices are relatively flat today. The latest release from Baker Hughes shows that U.S. oil rigs fell for the third week in a row down 7 to 736. WTI is currently trading at $51.22.
Let’s keep our powder dry heading in the weekend. Have a good one.
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