Housing Starts declined in January, S&P Closed higher for seven straight days, Manufacturing activity in Philadephia

February 16, 2017

The Commerce Department reported that Housing Starts declined 2.6% in January from December to an annual rate of 1.246 million; this was above the 1.220 million expected. December’s numbers were revised higher to 1.279 million from 1.226 million. Within the report it revealed that starts declined 41% in the West and 18% in the Midwest but increased 55% in the Northeast and 20% in the South. Housing Starts were up 10.5% from January 2016. Breaking the numbers down, single-family starts rose 2% from December, while multifamily dwellings declined by 8%.

U.S. Stocks have been on a tear hitting record highs. The S&P closed higher for seven straight days on Wednesday after President Trump ignited the rally last Thursday saying that a “phenomenal” tax announcement will be coming in the next few weeks. In addition, strong economic data is also boosting Stocks, while bank shares also chipped in on prospects of an upcoming interest rate hike.

Manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region soared in February to levels not seen since 1984. The Philadelphia Fed Index rose to 43.3 in January, well above the 17.5 expected and up from the 23.6 recorded in January. It was the biggest one-month increase since June 2009. Any reading above zero indicates improving conditions. Within the report it showed that the employment component fell two points, but has registered its third consecutive positive reading. The report signals that the U.S. continues to improve and move into greener pastures.