Stocks and Bonds are both a bit lower so far this morning. Initial Jobless Claims were released for the week ending March 22th, and Claims dropped 10k to 311k from last week’s slightly upwardly revised figure of 321k. This was stronger than estimates of 323k, and the lowest reading since December. Claims have been consistently trending lower, which is encouraging for the economy.
Final GDP for Q4 of last year was released at 2.6%. This was stronger than the preliminary reading of 2.4% last month, but still lower than estimates of 2.7%. This number is still a little weak, but this this ready does start to get a little old because we are almost done with the first quarter, and this is for the fourth quarter of 2013.
Pending Home Sales for February were reported this morning. Pending Home Sales measures signed contracts on existing homes, so while these contracts will have fallout, the data is more timely because it measures activity in the month of February. The report was released at 93.9, down 0.8%. Last month’s initial reading of 95 was revised slightly lower to 94.7. Pending Home Sales are now down 10.5% from this time last year. The areas that suffered the most were the Northeast and South, where weather was a big issue in February. Tight inventories also did not help the number.