Stocks hold steady…Lower rates still boosting housing market…Home prices show modest rise
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are hovering around their record highs so far today after Google’s parent and other big companies turned in a mixed set of profit reports. Companies have largely been reporting stronger earnings than analysts expected, but they’re nowhere close to blow-away good.
WASHINGTON (AP) – More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in September, a sign that the housing market is still benefiting from lower mortgage rates. The National Association of Realtors says its pending home sales index rose 1.5% from August to September to 108.7, its highest level since December 2017. Measured year over year, pending home sales have surged 3.9%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices increased modestly in August, a trend that could make homebuying affordable for more Americans. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 2% in August from a year earlier. That matched July’s annual increase as the slowest in seven years. Wages have been increasing more quickly than home prices since February, reversing a years-long trend.
WASHINGTON (AP) – A weakening global economy is pulling down the prices of energy and farm commodities. The World Bank says that energy prices will drop 14.6% this year and 3.1% in 2020 and that farm prices will fall 4.7% this year and eke out 0.6% growth next year. The forecasts are sharply lower than what the anti-poverty agency was predicting in April.
DETROIT (AP) – General Motors’ third-quarter net profit fell 7% as a strike by the United Auto Workers union halted U.S. vehicle production. The Detroit automaker earned $2.35 billion, or $1.60 per share. GM said today that the strike by the United Auto Workers cost it $1 billion in the quarter, or 52 cents per share, even though only two weeks of the strike took place within the financial reporting period.