Stocks rebound…Confidence higher…Home prices accelerate
NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. stocks rose in early trading as investors shifted money into technology companies following a broad sell-off a day earlier over fears that the spread of a deadly virus in China could affect the global economy. Apple, which reports earnings later Tuesday, was one of the biggest gainers in the tech sector. Chipmakers including Intel also climbed. Banks and other financial companies also rose as bond yields stabilized. Global markets were spooked on Monday by a sharp rise in coronavirus cases. China, the world’s second largest economy, is taking increasingly drastic measures to stem the virus’ spread.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumer confidence showed a strong gain in January, bolstered by continued strength in the job market. The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index rose to a reading of 131.6 this month, up from 128.2 in December. Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, says the increase reflects more positive assessment of the current job market. The Conference Board’s present situation index and its expectation index both showed gains in January. Consumer confidence surveys are closely followed for clues about whether households are in a buying mood. Consumer spending accounts for 70% of economic activity.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home prices rose at a faster pace in November than the previous month as lower mortgage rates and a sharp drop in available properties have pushed would-be buyers to bid up home values. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 2.6% in November from a year ago, up from a 2.2% annual gain in October. Price increases remain modest: They fell to a seven-year low in July before picking up last fall. The number of homes for sale plummeted 8.5% last year to 1.4 million. That represents a three-month supply at the current sales pace, the lowest on records dating to 1982.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods rose in December as a big jump in demand for military aircraft offset a sharp decline in commercial aircraft orders reflecting Boeing’s continued problems with its 737 Max. A key category that tracks business investment fell by the largest amount in eight months. The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods rose 2.4% in December. The category that tracks business investment plans dropped 0.9%, the biggest decline since April.
LONDON (AP) – Britain has decided to allow Huawei to build aspects of its new high-speed mobile network. It will however exclude the Chinese company from “core” parts of the new network. It’s a pivotal decision with implications for Britain’s diplomatic relations with the United States and China. The infrastructure program is seen as being critical to Britain’s economic future as the country leaves the European Union. But the decision is fraught, as the United States objects to the contract because of worries about cyberespionage and has threatened to cut off security. áHuawei said it was reassured by the decision.