Monday, April 18, 2016 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC -
The National Association of Home Builders reported on Monday that its Housing Market Index remained steady at 58 in April, matching the March reading. The report measures builder confidence for newly-built single-family homes. Within the report it showed that sales expectations in the next six months rose one point to 62, and the index gauging buyer traffic also increased a single point to 44. Meanwhile, the component charting current sales conditions fell two points to 63.
The major oil producing nations' proposed oil production freeze fell apart yesterday when Saudi Arabia demanded that Iran join the talks, despite Iran's assertions that it will not do so until it had reached pre-sanctions levels of output. Oil prices are lower, but off the worst levels as an oil-workers' strike in Kuwait is providing some support. WTI oil is currently down $1.12 to $39.22/barrel.
Saudi Arabia told the U.S. that if a bill in Congress is passed holding Saudi Arabia responsible for its role in the 9/11 attacks, the oil rich nation would sell off its $750 billion worth of American assets. The Obama administration has lobbied to block the passage of the bill. This story is not grabbing many headlines at the moment, but it likely will if tensions rise further.
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