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John Reinhardt Greater Atlanta & Surrounding Suburbs' Blog

By John J. Reinhardt | Agent in Johns Creek, GA

Real Estate and Stock Market Report March 12 -18 2012 John Reinhardt real estate agent Solid Source Realty

Healthy Job Gains Continue
  Highlights Average 30 yr fixed rate Stocks (Weekly)
The Trade Deficit was the largest since October 2008
The manufacturing sector has shown growth for 31 straight months
The Treasury will auction $66 billion in 3-yr, 10-yr, and 30-yr securities this week
China announced that it will target a 7.5% growth rate in 2012, the slowest pace since 2005

March 9: +0.01%   Dow: 12,975 +25  
March 2: 0.00%   NASDAQ: 2,990 +10

Overall, the economic data came in pretty close to expectations last week, and Greece successfully reached a debt deal with private bondholders. With a lack of surprises in the economic news, mortgage rates ended the week with little change.

While it was stronger than expected, the important monthly Employment report had only a minor impact on mortgage rates. Against a consensus forecast of 200K, the economy added 227K jobs in February, and revisions to prior months added an additional 61K jobs. The Unemployment Rate remained at 8.3%, as expected. Average Hourly Earnings, a proxy for wage growth, increased at a 1.9% annual rate. With gains above 200K for the first three months of the year, the recent pickup in job growth and the decline in Jobless Claims reflect solid improvement in the labor market.

Greece took a necessary step along its path to receive a much needed financial aid package. Private bondholders agreed to the proposed Greek bond swap deal, which will help reduce its debt burden. Without the deal, Greece was at risk of a potentially disastrous full default on its debt. This may have forced Greece to leave the European Union, possibly disrupting financial markets around the world.

The big news this week will be Tuesday's Fed meeting. Investors will be trying to determine the likelihood of additional Fed easing. The most significant economic data this week will be the monthly inflation reports. The Producer Price Index (PPI) focuses on the increase in prices of 'intermediate' goods used by companies to produce finished products and will come out on Thursday. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the most closely watched monthly inflation report, will come out on Friday. CPI looks at the price change for those finished goods which are sold to consumers. In addition, Retail Sales will be released on Tuesday. Retail Sales account for about 70% of economic activity. Industrial Production, Consumer Sentiment, Import Prices, Philly Fed and Empire State will round out a busy schedule. In addition, there will be Treasury auctions on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

John Reinhardt

Solid Source Realty

Real Estate Consultant

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 T  (770) 475-1130 Ext 6806

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