Michael WAGNER Strategist Vero Beach
The economy is improving as the housing market rebounds. The Conference Board’s consumer-confidence index climbed to the highest level in more than five years in May, data from the New York-based private research group showed. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities rose 10.9 percent in the year through March, the biggest 12-month gain since April 2006.
Contracts (USPHTMOM) to buy previously owned U.S. homes increased 0.3 percent in April, less than economists projected, after a 1.5 percent advance in March as a limited supply of listings constrained deals, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today.
U.S. mortgage applications dropped last week for a third consecutive time. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index fell 8.8 percent in the period ended May 24 from the prior week, with its refinancing measure slumping 12.3 percent to the lowest level of the year and itspurchasing measure climbing 2.6 percent, the Washington-based group said yesterday.
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