Daily News 10/27/14

October 27, 2014

Monday – October 27

Americans who purchase gas to fuel their cars have been receiving a sort of tax break in the past five months as the price of regular gas at the pump continues to decline. The national average price for a regular gallon of gasoline is at $3.04 a gallon as the price of crude oil declines. The drop in oil prices comes on several factors, global supplies are rising, a rising dollar and after a report was published by Goldman Sachs that West Texas Intermediate (WTI) could fall to $70/barrel in the second quarter of 2015. The current price of WTI is $80/barrel, a two-year low.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reported on Monday that the number of contracts signed to purchase previously owned homes rose by 0.3% in September, reaching its second highest level since August 2013. The index was expected to rise by 0.5% after the 1% decline in August. The report signals that the housing recovery is well on its way back to more normal levels. The Pending Home Sales index measures housing contract activity. It is based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos and co-ops.

Information services company Markit reported on Monday that the service sector of the U.S. economy eased a bit in October compared to September and fell to its lowest level in six months. The index fell to 57.3 this month from 58.9 in September. In addition, Markit reported that new business growth slipped to a three-month low. Markit reported that the index, which is based on approximately 85% of usual monthly replies, remained well above the 50.0 mark that separates expansion from contraction, but the latest reading signaled a further moderation in overall activity growth from the post-crisis peak seen in June.