U.S. Stock and Bond Markets Closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day
U.S. stock and bond markets will be closed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Get ready for a busy week ahead with fourth-quarter earnings reports, retail sales data, and insights into the housing market.
Troy D. Hanson
January 15, 2024
U.S. stock and bond markets will be closed on Monday, January 15 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. However, once Wall Street returns, a busy week of fourth-quarter earnings reports awaits.
Retail Sales Data and Economic Reports
On Wednesday, January 17, the Census Bureau will release the retail sales data for December. It is estimated that U.S. retail and food services sales will increase by 0.4% month over month, following a 0.3% rise in November. Excluding auto sales, retail sales are expected to gain 0.2%, matching the November figure. Despite the challenges faced in 2023, consumer spending remained resilient, with a projected 3.1% increase compared to the previous year.
In addition, the Federal Reserve will publish its first beige book of the year on Wednesday afternoon. This report provides insights into the current economic conditions across various regions in the United States.
Focus on the U.S. Housing Market
Data regarding the U.S. housing market will also be released this week. On Wednesday, the National Association of Home Builders will reveal the Housing Market Index for January, providing valuable information about the current state of the industry.
The Census Bureau is set to report new residential construction statistics for December on Thursday, offering a comprehensive look at housing starts and building permits issued during that month.
Lastly, on Friday, the National Association of Realtors will report existing-home sales for December, shedding light on the state of the housing market at the end of last year.
Stay tuned for these important updates and insights as we navigate the financial landscape in the following days.
Housing Market Sentiment Remains Low
The National Association of Home Builders has released its Housing Market Index (HMI) for January. According to economists, the index is expected to reach a reading of 38, one point higher than in December. However, despite this slight improvement, home builders' sentiment remains pessimistic. In fact, the HMI is currently nearly 20 points below its peak in July 2023. This ongoing decline is largely attributed to high mortgage rates, which have noticeably impacted the housing market.
Federal Reserve's Beige Book Provides Economic Insights
The Federal Reserve has published the first edition of its Beige Book for the year. This report compiles anecdotal information on current economic conditions as observed by the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks.
Prominent Companies Announce Quarterly Results
Several prominent companies including Fastenal, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, KeyCorp, M&T Bank, Northern Trust, PPG Industries, and Truist Financial have reported their quarterly financial results.
Decline in Residential Construction Statistics
The Census Bureau has released its latest report on new residential construction statistics for December. It is expected that there will be a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.45 million privately-owned housing starts. This figure represents a decrease of 110,000 compared to November.
On Friday, January 19, Comerica, Fifth Third Bancorp, Huntington Bancshares, Regions Financial, Schlumberger, State Street, and Travelers will be reporting their earnings.
The University of Michigan has released its Consumer Sentiment survey results for January. Economists predict a reading of 67.8, approximately two points lower than in December. Interestingly, December recorded the lowest level of consumer expectations for inflation in the upcoming year since March of 2021, with a rate of 3.1%.
Existing-Home Sales Remain Stagnant
The National Association of Realtors has reported the existing-home sales data for December. It is expected that there will be a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.82 million homes sold, remaining relatively unchanged from November. It's worth noting that existing-home sales currently account for a smaller percentage of overall home sales than historical averages, highlighting the prolonged stagnation in this sector.