Calm has returned to markets after several unnerving weeks. The “fear index” has dropped to a calm reading after spiking to its highest reading since 2011. Lessons were learned. The consumer is unshaken. Panic Defused in Stocks with Sharpest VIX Drop Since 2009. The panic has subsided. The Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) Volatility
After a first quarter slump that appears weather-related, the economy appears to be picking up steam again. Economist Martin Feldstein sees faster growth ahead. Consumers are more confident, and the Index of Leading Economic Indicators is advancing. America’s Move to Faster Growth. Output appears to be on track for the economy to grow at a
I sure am glad that’s over—that is—the debt ceiling standoff, even though Congress simply “kicked the can down the road.” Maybe next time cooler heads will prevail. Maybe some lessons have been learned, such as The debt limit is out of bounds. The debate next time should be on legitimate budgetary issues, not on the
Sometimes good news is greeted poorly by the market. Last week the number of claims for jobless benefits dropped to the lowest level since October 2007. Consumer confidence also moved near a five-year high. However, the stock market dropped, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to prices, climbed. Concerns that the Federal Reserve will taper asset purchases beginning as early as September have stoked a selling spree.
We begin with an article summarizing sizeable increases in home prices reported by the S&P/Case-Shiller Index. Next, we summarize upbeat news in the Conference Board’s most recent Consumer Confidence Index®. We temper the good news with a report on the state of household finances following the recession. Finally, we present an Issue Brief that explains why housing is so important to the economy as a whole.