Home Sales Reaching Fast Pace (CNBC)
Strong demand and limited supply have been boosting home sales to hit a pace that is nearly three times as fast as normal. Maryland real estate agent Jane Fairweather said homes in her market are selling at an average of 23 days because inventories are down and demand is strong. But don’t expect any volatility within the housing market from interest rates. “I don’t think it’s a boom we have to worry about because this is all about low interest rates and low inventory,” noted Fairweather. “This is not about easy money.
Dollar Rallies to Highs on Bernanke’s Comments (Reuters)
The dollar rallied to a 4-1/2- year high against the yen and a near three-year high against a basket of currencies yesterday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stoked speculation that the central bank could begin slowing its asset buying in the coming months. “The U.S. dollar has been on a tear since the beginning of the month and should extend its gains now that Bernanke green-lighted the rally,” said Kathy Lien, managing director of FX Strategy for BK Asset Management in New York.
Stocks Fall on Concern Fed will Scale Back Stimulus (Bloomberg)
Stocks fell by the end of trading yesterday, with benchmark numbers regressing from their previous highs, as concern grew that the Federal Reserve might begin to taper off its stimulus efforts if the labor market continues to improve. The future of how the stock market will act in the coming months rests upon how the Fed reacts to the oncoming data. “The key takeaway on whether the Fed does more or does less all depends on the data,” said John Canally, investment strategist at Boston-based LPL Financial Corp., which has $373 billion in advisory and brokerage assets. “Stocks have been up so much year to date. Largely, people are looking for an excuse to sell.”