Just in from S&P/CoreLogic:

NEW YORK, JULY 25, 2017 – S&P Dow Jones Indices today released the latest results for the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices. Data released today for May 2017 shows that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months. More than 27 years of history for these data series is available, and can be accessed in full by going to www.homeprice.spdji.com. Additional content on the housing market can also be found on S&P Dow Jones Indices’ housing blog: www.housingviews.com.

YEAR-OVER-YEAR   The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 5.6% annual gain in May, the same as the prior month. The 10-City Composite annual increase came in at 4.9%, down from 5.0% the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted a 5.7% year-over-year gain, down from 5.8% in April.

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Seattle, Portland, and Denver reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities. In May, Seattle led the way with a 13.3% year-over-year price increase, followed by Portland with 8.9%, and Denver overtaking Dallas with a 7.9% increase. Nine cities reported greater price increases in the year ending May 2017 versus the year ending April 2017.
The below charts compare year-over-year returns for Seattle and Portland with different ranges of housing prices (tiers). Upon tier level analysis from 2011 to present, both Seattle and Portland’s year-over-year returns show housing prices in the high tier to be the most stable while housing prices in the low tier are the most volatile.

Let’s look at the price chart:

S&P/CoreLogic then offers this…

“Home prices continue to climb and outpace both inflation and wages,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Housing is not repeating the bubble period of 2000-2006: price increases vary across the country unlike the earlier period when rising prices were almost universal; the number of homes sold annually is 20% less today than in the earlier period and the months’ supply is declining, not surging. The small supply of homes for sale, at only about four months’ worth, is one cause of rising prices. New home construction, higher than during the recession but still low, is another factor in rising prices.
“For the last 19 months, either Seattle or Portland OR was the city with fastest rising home prices based on 12-month gains. Since the national index bottomed in February 2012, San Francisco has the largest gain. Using Census Bureau data for 2011 to 2015, it is possible to compare these three cities to national averages. The proportion of owner-occupied homes is lower than the national average in all three cities with San Francisco being the lowest at 36%, Seattle at 46%, and Portland at 52%. Nationally, the figure is 64%. The key factor for the rise in home prices is population growth from 2010 to 2016: the national increase is 4.7%, but for these cities, it is 8.2% in San Francisco, 9.6% in Portland and 15.7% in Seattle. A larger population combined with more people working leads to higher home prices.”

Futures holding Dow +102 after data release…

Fed Meeting

The Federal Reserve meeting gavels in this morning and tomorrow afternoon (2 PM’ish EDT) we will hear their decision.  Frankly, though, we are not expecting an increase.  Instead, we will be looking for a Fed Statement that will encourage, rather than discourage markets.  The Fed, by all appearances is open to more market gains (and needs them) to keep sopping-up the additional “money” being created as we noted in Monday’s discussion of the H.6 Money Stocks report.  Pedal to the metal, Janet…you go girl.

Irrational Consumerism

Here we go, once again, with another fine example of how the American Consumer has pretty much no senses whatsoever.

We’re reading reports like this one that the 2018 Ford Mustang will be able to hit 0-60 speeds in less than 4 seconds.  While that’s grand – for an ICE-powered rig, we note that the Porsches have already been there and the Tesla as I recall was in the 3.6 second range.

In a world of “specialization” we may have to bracket our thinking about cars:  Whether front-engine ICE (Mustang), rear-engine ICE (Porsches), or EV’s (Tesla).

In a world where the fastest highway speeds are 80 MPH, we wonder why anyone would pony up for more than economical transport (Nissan Versa, for example) or a luxury ride (like our old Lexus),

But given than Rachel Maddow is at the top of the TV ratings game now, the tastes and wisdom of the American Consumer have been called seriously into question….AGAIN.

The Daily Bash

Got another full load.  Now that the NE liberal press has managed to convince turncoat (mislabeled) repubnicians to pass on a $12-billion freebie for insurance companies, they’re on to the next target:  Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Here’s an article for example hinting that Texas senator Ted Cruz might be named as Session’s replacement.  And that gives the CNN Trump Bask Department the chance to run Cillizza: Trump’s public bullying of Sessions is embarrassing.

I’m not sure how they figure:  Sessions wasn’t forthcoming and should not have recused himself…

Meantime, one of extremely bright readers offered this in our Comments section this morning:

George, last week you referenced an article about Sessions resurrecting the civil forfeiture laws, now I’m reading that Sessions is tying violence to marijuana and will be targeting grow operations even in states where its legal. Its to be rolled out July 27. Interesting timing on the forfeiture news last week. I wonder how states that are reaping huge tax revs from legal mj are going to act?

Enter: Reason #2 to bounce Sessions.  The Base doesn’t care if someone has a “recreational joint” (in the north) or “huffs a hogleg” (in the south).  If otherwise law-abiding, tax-paying, where’s the distinction between a joint and “two buck chuck?”  OK, one causes cirrhosis while the other has anti-cancer cannabinoids…  Illegal weed is at the base of the border coyote trade, too.

Sessions is edging toward sounding like a defender of the booze lobby status quo…

We note there is something of a well-rutted road from Constitutionalist to conservative republican, to office holder, to political leadership, to political sell-out.

The only way we can see Sessions redeeming himself would be for him to fire Mueller’s summer fishing expedition.  But because Sessions is something of as swamp-tender himself, we don’t expect him to step up.  At least that’s how it looks in the rational part of Texas.

Then there’s the WaPo going on to speculate that there may be some changes in the WH Communications office with the departure of Spicer.  Gee, really?

This last story is of interest from a news “propagation and analytics” standpoint because of how it spins up so nicely.  The incoming (whoever) will be able to pick who they want.  But emotionally hot terms like “Purge!” get used in the NELP (northeast liberal press) and pretty quick, the story is foreshortened from  “communications office” to “purge in the WH” – which is all part of the anti-Trump rhetorician’s plans, from the appearance (and regularity) of it.

Meantime, the POTUS ripped ol’ Barack for NEVER attending or speaking to a Boy Scout National Jamboree.  Not to state the obvious, be we think Obama had (and is still orchestrating) an attack on traditional American values.  Like strong borders…honest choice in healthcare…and MORE, particularly in gutting the military… but I digress.

Off in background: Those turncoat repubnicians who want Pence to step in and replace Trump should consider that would move up Paul Ryan to #2, which is about the last thing the country needs…

Zombie Healthcare Bill

And here comes one of the head zombies: GOP Sets Senate Health Care Vote Buoyed by John McCain’s Return to D.C..  Wonder how much this cost the healthcare lobby?  Still after their $12-billion, are they?

Anything “buoyed” by McCain – who we recall was peddling the crooked anti-Trump dossier – ought to be shit-canned immediately.  Repeal Obamacare, fix Medicaid and jail the person who said “You can keep your own doctor.”

We sadly note that McCain and is colleagues in the Senate are not in the “regular people healthcare cesspool” the rest of us.  They are “special” – just ask ’em!

If we want Legislation for the People, we need to put all lawmakers into Social Security (and no fat cat retirements) and into Medicare and make insider trading by members of congress a felony like it is for the rest of us.  Right now, it’s like electing a criminal family to make up rules.

Remember the card game TEGWAR?  That’s what Washington is putting out now that our Code of Federal Regulations is incomprehensively long.  Wikipedia on point:

TegwarBang the Drum Slowly (the novel by Mark Harris, also a film); it is a game basically designed to separate a sucker from his cash. The letters stand for “The Exciting Game Without Any Rules.” When the characters in the film play the game, they appear to be making things up as they go along.

So yes, TEGWAR is no longer fictional.  It’s the FedGov, Congress, the Obama implants and holdovers, the Neocons at State, and the self-running, self-watering, self-centered, self-assembling, and self-important FedGov all rolled into 100,000 pages of TEGWAR gibberish.

If government was honest, www.tegwar.gov would return more than  an error code.

(Say, my BP is coming up nicely, now…)

Economics, Ure and Simple

Remember Monday I was telling you how the Effects of FX work?

Dandy exemplification for Ure edjumacation in the markets today.

When I looked in on the futures early (think 5:15 AM) they were showing the dollar holding and the Dow futures up 25.

But then a funny thing happened that I captured in a screenshot for you:

Look what happened in the USD Index!  The chart shows the purchasing power of the USD dropped a good bit just in the past half-hour, or so.

Remember:  When dollars are worth less, it then takes more of them to buy an  asset of fixed utility value.  Think of stocks as apartment units.  They produce future “rents” in the form of dividends and price appreciation.

Well I’ll be a SOB:  The Dow futures popped up over 100 points.  Just like we would expect!

And this, as we told you, means that we may be through wave 1 up,  and the small sideways 2 (ending now by the look of the futures) and this should be the starting point for the wave 3 up thrust that should take us to new highs next week and into the middle of the month – and possibly our ALL TIME HIGHS for a Decade or Longer – in the coming month.

No, this is NOT FINANCIAL ADVICE.  Just a verbal between friends.  Though MUCH more serious with my online brokerage firm.  We are 10-trades into the year and 9 of them made money.  Not a lot, but enough :-) More than paid for the truck repairs I had done Monday, lol.

Fingers crossed?

Off to write a dandy article for Peoplenomics subscribers tomorrow – after the housing report.  Tomorrow’s subscriber feature?  Turning Tragedy into a Business Model.

From Tragedy to Business Models
Fed Week: Effects of FX