U.S. NAHB HMI Rose to 55 in August; Third Month of Gains as Employment Outlook Improves (XHB) Aug 18, 2014 10:11AM

(Updated - August 18, 2014 10:11 AM EDT)

U.S. NAHB homebuilder sentiment index rose to 55 in August, versus the consensus of 53.

UPDATE - More from the NAHB press release below:

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose two points to 55 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for August, released today. This third consecutive monthly gain brings the index to its highest level since January.

“As the employment picture brightens, builders are seeing a noticeable increase in the number of serious buyers entering the market,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “However, builders still face a number of challenges, including tight credit conditions for borrowers and shortages of finished lots and labor.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

All three HMI components posted gains in August. The indices gauging current sales conditions and expectations for future sales each rose two points to 58 and 65, respectively. The index gauging traffic of prospective buyers increased three points to 42.

“Each of the three components of the HMI registered consecutive gains for the past three months, which is a positive sign that builder confidence appears to be firming following an uneven spring,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Factors contributing to this rise include sustained job growth, historically low mortgage rates and affordable home prices, which are helping to unleash pent-up demand.”

Every region saw a gain in its three-month moving average HMI score in August. The Midwest posted a seven-point increase to 55 and the West registered a four-point gain to 56. The Northeast posted a two-point gain to 38 and the South was up one point to 52.


U.S. NAHB HMI Rose to 55 in August; Third Month of Gains as Employment Outlook Improves (XHB) Aug 18, 2014 10:11AM

(Updated - August 18, 2014 10:11 AM EDT)

U.S. NAHB homebuilder sentiment index rose to 55 in August, versus the consensus of 53.

UPDATE - More from the NAHB press release below:

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose two points to 55 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for August, released today. This third consecutive monthly gain brings the index to its highest level since January.

“As the employment picture brightens, builders are seeing a noticeable increase in the number of serious buyers entering the market,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “However, builders still face a number of challenges, including tight credit conditions for borrowers and shortages of finished lots and labor.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

All three HMI components posted gains in August. The indices gauging current sales conditions and expectations for future sales each rose two points to 58 and 65, respectively. The index gauging traffic of prospective buyers increased three points to 42.

“Each of the three components of the HMI registered consecutive gains for the past three months, which is a positive sign that builder confidence appears to be firming following an uneven spring,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Factors contributing to this rise include sustained job growth, historically low mortgage rates and affordable home prices, which are helping to unleash pent-up demand.”

Every region saw a gain in its three-month moving average HMI score in August. The Midwest posted a seven-point increase to 55 and the West registered a four-point gain to 56. The Northeast posted a two-point gain to 38 and the South was up one point to 52.


UPDATE: Ukraine Forces Attacked, Destroyed Part of Armed Convoy from Russia - Ukraine's Lysenko (RSX) (SPY) (QQQ) Aug 15, 2014 11:16AM

(Updated - August 15, 2014 11:16 AM EDT)

(Updated - August 15, 2014 11:10 AM EDT)

Ukraine forces attacked armed convoy from Russia, according to Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council.

Lysenko also commented that part of it no longer exists.

Markets have dipped lower on the headlines. Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSE: RSX) is also negative now.

UPDATE - More headlines crossing:

According to Reuters, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Ukrainian forces are engaging in intense fighting in eastern Ukraine to stop humanitarian aid to the region.

Ukraine's president also said that the country's artillery destroyed part of the Russian armored equipment that crossed into the country.

Russia and Ukraine were said to agree on the route to Luhansk.

UPDATE 2 - The following is from president.gov.ua:

"President of Ukraine and Prime Minister of Great Britain discussed international efforts on the settlement of the conflict in the Donbas"

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko had a phone conversation with Prime Minister of Great Britain David Cameron.

The parties coordinated their actions on the response to the information regarding the entry of Russian military machines to the territory of Ukraine that has been clearly witnessed by international journalists, particularly of "Guardian" newspaper. The President informed that the given information was trustworthy and confirmed because the majority of that machines had been eliminated by the Ukrainian artillery at night.

The British Prime Minister once again reaffirmed his strong and gradual support to Ukraine and the actions of the President. He also asked about the issue on humanitarian assistance for Luhansk. The President informed on recent developments. He stressed that the Ukrainian part of the international humanitarian assistance in the framework of the Red Cross mission was on its way to Luhansk.

The President expressed concern over the situation on the border, particularly, over the fact that the inflow of Russian arms and military machines in Ukraine through the open part of the border continued.

The parties discussed international efforts for the dialogue on the possibility to settle the situation in the Donbas and the prospects of enhancing military-technical cooperation.

David Cameron informed that Great Britain was ready to provide financial assistance to Ukraine in the framework of the UN humanitarian assistance.


UPDATE: Ukraine Forces Attacked, Destroyed Part of Armed Convoy from Russia - Ukraine's Lysenko (RSX) (SPY) (QQQ) Aug 15, 2014 11:16AM

(Updated - August 15, 2014 11:16 AM EDT)

(Updated - August 15, 2014 11:10 AM EDT)

Ukraine forces attacked armed convoy from Russia, according to Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council.

Lysenko also commented that part of it no longer exists.

Markets have dipped lower on the headlines. Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSE: RSX) is also negative now.

UPDATE - More headlines crossing:

According to Reuters, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Ukrainian forces are engaging in intense fighting in eastern Ukraine to stop humanitarian aid to the region.

Ukraine's president also said that the country's artillery destroyed part of the Russian armored equipment that crossed into the country.

Russia and Ukraine were said to agree on the route to Luhansk.

UPDATE 2 - The following is from president.gov.ua:

"President of Ukraine and Prime Minister of Great Britain discussed international efforts on the settlement of the conflict in the Donbas"

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko had a phone conversation with Prime Minister of Great Britain David Cameron.

The parties coordinated their actions on the response to the information regarding the entry of Russian military machines to the territory of Ukraine that has been clearly witnessed by international journalists, particularly of "Guardian" newspaper. The President informed that the given information was trustworthy and confirmed because the majority of that machines had been eliminated by the Ukrainian artillery at night.

The British Prime Minister once again reaffirmed his strong and gradual support to Ukraine and the actions of the President. He also asked about the issue on humanitarian assistance for Luhansk. The President informed on recent developments. He stressed that the Ukrainian part of the international humanitarian assistance in the framework of the Red Cross mission was on its way to Luhansk.

The President expressed concern over the situation on the border, particularly, over the fact that the inflow of Russian arms and military machines in Ukraine through the open part of the border continued.

The parties discussed international efforts for the dialogue on the possibility to settle the situation in the Donbas and the prospects of enhancing military-technical cooperation.

David Cameron informed that Great Britain was ready to provide financial assistance to Ukraine in the framework of the UN humanitarian assistance.


Russian Stocks Dip on Escalation in Ukraine (RSX) (QIWI) (YNDX) (more..) Aug 15, 2014 11:03AM

Russia stocks dipped lower following reports of escalation in Ukraine. Ukraine admits attacking Russian 'armed' convoy while Russia said it was an 'aid' convoy.

Related stocks: Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSE: RSX) (-1.5%), QIWI plc (NASDAQ: QIWI) (-1.2%), Yandex N.V. (NASDAQ: YNDX) (-2.5%), VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) (-0.6%), Mechel OAO (NYSE: MTL) (flat).


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