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Housing Report Not Pretty

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    August 26, 2013

    It was reported last week that new home sales plunged 13.4% in July to 394,000 units. And  June’s report was revised down from the previous report of an 8.3% increase and 497,000 units, to an increase of only 3.6%.

    So never mind the headline report of a 13.4% plunge. Home sales in July actually fell a huge 20.7% from what markets thought was the sales level in June, 497,000 to 394,000.

    There was also a big 21% increase in unsold inventory in July, from a 4.3 month supply in June to a 5.2 month supply in July.

    Another observation: Back in July it was reported that Pending Home Sales fell in June, but only 0.4%.

    The big plunge in actual new home sales from those pending sales (signed contracts) since June makes me wonder about the number of buyers either backing out of contracts, or being unable to obtain financing at the higher rates.

    It looks like markets may have it right about the outlook for housing and real estate.



    The financial media didn’t like Nasdaq’s handling of its shutdown – but.

    The Nasdaq was shut down for 3 hours Thursday due to a technical problem.

    There wasn’t much information made available publicly except that it was shut down, they were working on it, and expected it to be back up before the markets closed. And it was.

    In explaining the lack of details provided to the press, Nasdaq CEO Griefeld said yesterday that Nasdaq officials were in constant communications with the other exchanges, regulators and those who needed to know, making sure that when the Nasdaq re-opened it would be orderly and cause no problems for investors.  

    The financial media was upset to say the least, and filled the three hours with complaints about the lack of details provided to the press. In typical Cramer fashion, Jim Cramer was“incensed” that the Nasdaq “halted things to help the retail investor but didn’t communicate to the press. . . . I have been in this business longer than [Nasdaq’s] Greifeld. I’m furious.”

    Well, it sure worked out well to keep the press out of the loop, preventing them from panicking investors with minute by minute dramatizing and criticizing of every detail of what was going on, as it was released .

    The Nasdaq reopened orderly, complete calm, no panicked buying or selling, and was orderly to the close. And it traded orderly all day yesterday, closing up 0.5%.

    It just might be a good example for the Federal Reserve, that total transparency of inner workings to the press, allowing them to debate, opinionize, and dramatize every word, is not always the best way to go.

    The media was only able to fill another day yesterday with debates over what the Nasdaq did finally say, and how in their estimation the officials should have handled the whole situation.

    To read my weekend newspaper column click hereU.S. Treasury Bonds Are Oversold 

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    About The Author – Sy Harding, Street Smart Report

    Sy Harding publishes the financial website Street Smart Report Online and a free daily Internet blog at Sy’s Free Blog. In 1999 he authored Riding The Bear – How To Prosper In the Coming Bear Market. His latest book is Beat the Market the Easy Way! – Proven Seasonal Strategies Double Market’s Performance!

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