Oct Pending Home Sales, a measure of contract signings of existing homes, rose by 10.4%, much better than expectations of a gain of 2%. The gains were led by a 24.1% rise in the Midwest and 17.7% jump in the Northeast. Contract signings also rose 8.6% in the South but fell .3% in the West. The overall index is at the best level since Nov ’10. While encouraging as there seems to be pent up demand, we need to see if these contracts turn to closings due to the buyer getting a mortgage and seeing an accurate appraisal.
The Nov Chicago PMI at 62.6 was better than expectations of 58.5 and up from 58.4 in Oct. It’s the best since April and follows the NY and Richmond mfr’g surveys that were slightly better than estimated and the Philly, KC and Dallas reports that were slightly worse than forecasted. New Orders rose almost 9 pts to 70.2, the best since March and Backlogs were up almost 4 pts. Employment though did fall by 5.4 but off the highest level since Apr in Oct. Inventories were down a touch and Production rose almost 4 pts. The national ISM tomorrow will reconcile the regional surveys. Bottom line, the economic data continues to hang in well but its impossible not to ask what the landscape will be in 2012 as Europe deals with their likely recession and China attempts to land its economy in a soft patch.