Morning Report: Lennar reports a huge turnaround in May

Vital Statistics:

 

Last Change
S&P futures 3126 4.1
Oil (WTI) 37.94 -0.39
10 year government bond yield 0.75%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 3.16%

 

Stocks are flattish this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are up.

 

Initial Jobless Claims came in a little higher than expected – 1.5 million versus 1.3 million expected. Meanwhile, the Philly Fed survey was way stronger than expected.

 

The Conference Board Index of Leading Economic Indicators improved 2.8% in May versus the Street expectation of 2.3%. “In May, the US LEI showed a partial recovery from its sharp decline over the previous three months, as economic activity began to pick up again,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at The Conference Board. “The relative improvement in unemployment insurance claims is responsible for about two-thirds of the gain in the index. The improvements in labor markets, housing permits, and stock prices also buoyed the LEI, but new orders in manufacturing, consumers’ outlook on the economy, and the Leading Credit Index™ still point to weak economic conditions. The breadth and depth of the decline in the LEI between February and April suggest the economy at large will remain in recession territory in the near term.”

 

Homebuyer mortgage demand spiked to an 11-year high. “The housing market continues to experience the release of unrealized pent-up demand from earlier this spring, as well as a gradual improvement in consumer confidence,” said MBA economist Joel Kan.

 

Homebuilder Lennar reported better than expected earnings and re-introduced its guidance for the year. On the conference call, the company talked about how the markets turned around in May:

In May, our new orders increased each week sequentially and were up 7% over the prior year. Our cancellation rate in May also dropped from 18% — dropped to 18% from the 23% high in April. More importantly, our increase in sales was generally achieved while raising prices and reducing incentives throughout the month of May. We rarely comment on sales activity outside of the quarter we are reporting. However, given these fluid market dynamics, I will give you some insight on June. For the first two weeks of June, our new orders were up 20% over the same period last year. 

Now some of that might be catch-up from the March and April weakness, but it does point to a robust homebuilding market, certainly better than yesterday’s housing starts number would suggest.

 

The FHFA extended the eviction moratorium until August 31.

 

 

Author: Brent Nyitray

In the physical sciences, knowledge is cumulative. In the financial markets, it is cyclical

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