Today's trading action will likely mimic Monday's performance
) dividend announcement kept the positive momentum in place on an
otherwise slow-news day. This morning's favorable Housing Starts
numbers for February do not have the same punch as the news about
the iPhone maker, but it should nevertheless sustain the narrative
of housing 'green shoots'.
Warm weather likely did lend a helping hand to builders in
February, but the emerging favorable housing story is not without
basis either. After all, housing data has been showing steady
improvement for a while now. Housing Starts and Permits bottomed in
the Spring of 2009, while residential investment as a share of the
GDP reached its lowest level about a year back and has been rising
in the last few quarters. Monday's Housing Market Index, which
tracks homebuilder sentiment and serves as a leading indicator for
Housing Starts and Permits, reached its highest level since the
summer of 2007 when Starts were almost double the current level.
The improvement in builder sentiment over the last 5 to 6 months is
largely a function of favorable developments in the labor market
and not just sunnier weather.
In corporate news, upscale jeweler
Tiffany & Company
) came out with inline earnings and revenue numbers this morning,
but guided higher for 2012. After the close on Monday,
) posted in-line results, while
), the Chinese display-advertizing company, came out ahead of
expectations. In other news,
) is acquiring the robots maker Kiva Systems for $775 million in
cash. The company plans to make greater use of robots in its
network of warehouses.
) will report results after the close today.
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