Read the highlights of this week’s commentary from Helios:
- With the recent surge in the 30-year fixed mortgage rate above 7%, affordability has plummeted to its lowest level since 1984. Tight inventory continues to impact existing home sales, with transactions dropping nearly 19% in June compared to the previous year.
- US Industrial production rose 1% in July, the most since the start of the year, after sliding 0.8% in June. A stronger-than-expected industrial production is usually a positive sign for stocks, but bonds generally prefer slower industrial production growth because it serves as a signal of moderating inflation.
- Headline retail sales rose 0.7% in July, exceeding the consensus estimate (0.4%) and the 0.2% increase in June.
- Initial jobless claims decreased by 11K to 239K for the week ended August 12. Continuing claims increased by 32K to 1,716K for the week ended August 5, surpassing the 2019 average of approximately 1700K.
- Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng index is in a bear market, down 21% from its January high, amid concerns that China’s real estate troubles will affect the broader economy.
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