Economic Data Deluge

Ahead of Friday’s opening bell, we see data reported on June Housing Starts and Building Permits. Results were good, but not great — coming in higher than the previous few months, but lower than analyst estimates. A headline of 1.186 million seasonally adjusted, annualized new starts was a tad below the 1.2 million expected, up 17.3% month over month. Permits — a forward indicator of future starts — came in at 1.241 million, +2.1% from the May read.

Both headline numbers were the best we’ve seen since March, before the pandemic crisis derailed industries across the board, including homebuilding. Even now the ramp-up has been difficult to get going: lack of supply in materials and land are keeping a fast rebound in the industry from taking hold. Multi-family units, in particular, were down — though this means single-family housing may be gaining traction.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate just hit its lowest-ever level at sub-3%. If there’s ever been a better reason to jump into the housing market, or refinance one’s mortgage loan, it’s hard to imagine what it would be. Young adults appear to be more ready to purchase a home than they have been in the past; a sustained development with this demographic should do wonders for housing numbers in the months ahead.

Railway major Kansas City Southern KSU beat analyst estimates by 3 cents to $1.15 per share in its Q2 earnings report this morning. This keeps a decent string of earnings beats intact; the rail company’s last miss was in Q3 2018. Revenues of $547.9 million was a tad below expectations, but pretty much on-target. The stock is up slightly year-to-date, but still off its mid-February highs. For more on KSU’s earnings, click here.

BlackRock BLK knocked the cover off the ball (remember baseball?) in its Q2 report this morning, delivering $7.85 per share versus the $6.90 in the Zacks consensus, and up markedly from $6.41 per share in the year-ago quarter. Revenues of $3.65 billion came in nearly 2% above estimates, and bettered the $3.52 billion from Q2 2019. This continues the Q2 narrative that investment firms have had a better quarter than initially believed. For more on BLK’s earnings, click here.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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