Unemployment Filings rose, Healthcare Reform vote, Sales of new single-family homes were up in February

March 23, 2017

Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits rose to a seven-week high, increasing by 15,000 to 258,000 in the week ended March 18, the Labor Department reported. Despite the uptick, the latest reading marked 80 straight weeks of filings below 300,000, the level economists consider a healthy labor market.

Investors are honing in on Washington D.C. and the lead up to the healthcare reform vote in the House, which is expected to take place this evening. If the bill does not pass, it will bring on more uncertainty about promised reforms on healthcare, taxes and the regulatory environment and appear to stall President Trump’s agenda. If this initial vote in the House passes, Stock markets could rally as some of the uncertainty is lifted.

Sales of new single-family houses in February 2017 were up 6.1 percent from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. New Home Sales in January also were revised up to rate of 558,000. February’s sales are 12.8 percent above the February 2016 estimate and a welcome sign to prospective homebuyers who have struggled with limited inventory and rising home prices throughout the country.