Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

While you were sleeping: Housing market momentum

While you were sleeping: Housing market momentum

Feb 27 (BusinessDesk) – Wall Street rose after a report showed an unexpected rise in US new home purchases in January, easing concern that the industry’s recovery was stalling.

New homes sales soared 9.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 468,000 units in January, according to Commerce Department data. That marks the highest level since July 2008. So much for the impact of harsh winter weather.

In further good news, December's sales were revised higher to a 427,000-unit pace, up from the previously reported 414,000.

In afternoon trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.33 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 0.37 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.65 percent. The US dollar gained 0.6 percent against the euro, while strengthening 0.3 percent against the yen.

Gains in shares of Home Depot, last up 1.7 percent, and those of Caterpillar, last up 1.4 percent, led the Dow higher.

Shares of Lowe’s jumped, last up 6 percent, after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and announced a stock buyback.

“Some of the recent housing and jobs data has softened a little bit, but we still think the consumer is going to be there and 2014 is going to be a great year,” Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock told Bloomberg News in an interview. “It made more sense to come out slightly more cautious with our guidance and then deliver numbers above.”

Investors await Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s rescheduled testimony before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday to gauge US policy makers’ take on the recent US economic data. Earlier this month, Yellen’s semi-annual testimony to the House showed optimism about the outlook for the US recovery.

Shares of Target climbed, with its shares 6.7 percent higher, after the company provided an earnings outlook that exceeded expectations. The company is recovering from a security breach late last year.

“During the first half of the fourth quarter, our guest-focused holiday merchandising and marketing plans drove better-than-expected sales. However, results softened meaningfully following our December announcement of a data breach,” Gregg Steinhafel, Target’s CEO, said in a statement.

“As we plan for the new fiscal year, we will continue to work tirelessly to win back the confidence of our guests and deliver irresistible merchandise and offers, and we are encouraged that sales trends have improved in recent weeks.”

US Treasuries gained as the sale of US$35 billion in five-year bonds drew solid demand. The sale’s bid-to-cover ratio was 2.98, the highest since September 2012, while the notes yielded 1.53 percent, the lowest since November, according to Bloomberg News.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index finished the session with a 0.2 percent decline from the previous close. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 both dropped 0.4 percent, while the UK’s FTSE 100 fell 0.5 percent.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Superu Report: Land Regulation Drives Auckland House Prices

Land use regulation is responsible for up to 56 per cent of the cost of an average house in Auckland according to a new research report quantifying the impact of land use regulations, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>

ALSO:

Fletcher Whittled: Fletcher Dumps Adamson In Face Of Dissatisfaction

Fletcher Building has taken the unusual step of dumping its chief executive, Mark Adamson, as the company slashed its full-year earnings guidance and flagged an impairment against Australian assets. More>>

ALSO:

No More Dog Docking: New Animal Welfare Regulations Progressed

“These 46 regulations include stock transport, farm husbandry, companion and working animals, pigs, layer hens and the way animals are accounted for in research, testing and teaching.” More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Most Kiwifruit Contractors Breaking Law

A Labour Inspectorate operation targeting the kiwifruit industry in Bay of Plenty has found the majority of labour hire contractors are breaching their obligations as employers. More>>

ALSO:

'Work Experience': Welfare Group Opposes The Warehouse Workfare

“This programme is about exploiting unemployed youth, not teaching them skills. The government are subsidising the Warehouse in the name of reducing benefit dependency,” says Vanessa Cole, spokesperson for Auckland Action Against Poverty. More>>

ALSO:

Internet Taxes: Labour To Target $600M In Unpaid Taxes From Multinationals

The Labour Party would target multinationals operating in New Zealand to ensure they don't avoid paying tax if it wins power and is targeting $600 million over three years through a "diverted profits tax," says leader Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO: