Home Sales, Sentiment Data Present Mixed Picture
Home sales plunged further. U.S. consumer sentiment is up.
That's the data Wall Street is trying to digest right now, after a lukewarm response to news that the GDP fell 0.5 percent in the third quarter, in line with economist expectations.
The National Association of Realtors said existing-home sales fell 8.6 percent in November. The median sales price fell 13.2 percent, to $181,300.
New-home sales dropped to their slowest pace in nearly 18 years, falling 2.9 percent in November, according to the Commerce Department.
Meanwhile, the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index jumped to 60.1 in December from 55.3 in November, the lowest level in 28 years. What helped? Lower gas prices. (I paid $1.53 the other day.) And deep retailer sales.
"We're going to see more of the huge reduction in oil and gas prices translating into consumer buying power in some areas,” Robert Stein, senior economist at First Trust Advisors in Lisle, Ill., told Bloomberg.
-- Michael S. Rosenwald
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