Stocks lower…Wages rose 0.7%…Home price increases slow
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are trending lower on Wall Street as traders process a deluge of earnings reports from big U.S. companies. GE jumped with earnings and revenue that beat analysts’ forecasts, while Google’s parent company Alphabet sank after its revenue missed Wall Street’s expectations.
WASHINGTON (AP) – American consumers were feeling more confident this month, though their level of optimism remains lower than it was last fall. The Conference Board reported today that its consumer confidence index rose to 129.2 in April, up from 124.2 in March. Economists pay close attention to the index because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Wages and benefits for U.S. workers rose 0.7% in the first three months of the year, a modest gain that matched the previous quarter’s increase. The data suggest that growth in workers’ compensation has stalled in recent months.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Home prices increased at a slower pace in February, a sign that several years of outsized gains in home values have created affordability challenges in many metro areas. A key 20-city home price index rose 3% from a year earlier, down from an annual gain of 3.5% in January.
WASHINGTON (AP) – More Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in March compared to the prior month. The National Association of Realtors says that its pending home sales index climbed 3.8%. Home sales have been recovering as mortgage rates have retreated from the recent November peak. Still, pending home sales are running 1.2% below their pace a year ago.