Daily News 11/18/14

November 18, 2014

Tuesday – November 18

News from the housing sector showed that confidence among home builders is on the rise, after some weak readings earlier in the year. Rising consumer confidence has been a key reason for the turnaround. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported on Tuesday that its Housing Market Index rose to 58 in November from October and above the 55 that was expected. An NAHB spokesman said “low interest rates, affordable home prices and solid job creation are contributing to a steady housing recovery.”

Inflation at the wholesale level unexpectedly increased in October, despite the decline in gas prices at the pumps. Lower gas prices were offset by rising prices for meat, electric power, pharmaceuticals and passenger cars. The Producer Price Index (PPI) rose by 0.2% last month, above the -0.2% expected and up from the -0.1% in September. When stripping out volatile food and energy, the so-called Core PPI rose by 0.4%, above the 0.1% expected. The index measures the cost of goods and services before they reach the consumer.

Early season snowstorms are blanketing half of the U.S. with even Amarillo, Texas receiving nearly three inches of snow a few days ago. Upstate New York, which is a big snow state, is currently receiving three or four feet of snow, which is not typical this early in the season. The National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center reported that there was snow cover on 50.1% of the lower 48 U.S. states as of today, which is the earliest that the halfway mark has been passed since it began measuring this method in 2008. It also beats a similar method that dates back to 2003 that included parts of Canada.