Succinct Summation of Week’s Events (3/23/12)

Succinct summation of week’s events:

Positives:

1) Initial Jobless Claims fall to 348k, the lowest since Mar ’08
2) Multi family housing starts jump again in Feb and permits rise to the most since Oct ’08
3) Greek CDS payments clear smoothly
4) Portuguese 10 yr bond yield falls 108 bps in spite of concerns with it post Greece, 5)French business confidence rises 3 pts to a 4 month high

Negatives:

1) China slowdown concerns grow. HSBC preliminary mfr’g falls to 48.1 from 49.6, 5th month below 50. More cities report home price decreases and fewer report home price increases. BHP and Rio express reservations over pace of Chinese growth. Official at China Assoc of Auto Mfr’s says auto sales likely to miss their estimates in 2012. China raises gasoline and diesel prices
2) Spanish and Italian 10 yr yields rise almost 20 bps on the week
3) German and French mfr’g PMI fall back below 50 and Euro zone mfr’g and services composite index unexpectedly falls to 48.7 from 49.3
4) UK retail sales below estimates and consumer confidence falls
5) Feb US New Home Sales unexpectedly drop to 313k, a still anemic level and months supply up a touch to 5.8 from 5.7
6) Existing Home Sales months supply rises to 6.4 from 6.0. Feb sales light but Jan revised up
7) NAHB home builder survey unchanged at 28 vs estimate of 30
8) Single family housing starts flat, seeing no weather induced improvement
9) Due to uptick in mortgage rates, refi apps fall 9.3% to a 10 week low
10) AAA said average gasoline prices rose another .05 on the week and is up .15 for the month.

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