The housing market is still the primary risk factor faced by the U.S. economic recovery. The data released last Friday showed the U.S. February forward-selling house sales decreased for the second consecutive month, weighing on the investor confidence. However, the same day international crude oil price surge pushed the energy stocks to rise, offsetting the negative impact of poor housing data. As of last Friday’s close, the three major U.S. stock indexes rose slightly.
U.S. Department of Commerce announced last Friday, on a seasonally adjusted basis, forward-selling house sales reported an annualized figure of 313,000 units in February, declining 1.6% compared with the previous month, which is the second consecutive monthly decline in forward-selling house sales and the lowest level since October 2011. A currency strategist with Swiss bank said the relative weakness in the sales of forward-selling home had caused the market concerns about the sustainability of the U.S. economic recovery.
But a number of the same day reports showed sanctions would lead to the decline in Iran’s oil exports, boosting the rises in commodity stocks and energy stocks and offsetting the impact of the unexpected drop in sales of new residential. As of last Friday’s close, the raw material stocks and energy stocks climbed 1%, respectively, both being marked as the sectors with the biggest gains among the ten component sectors of the S&P 500 index.
In last Friday late trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Avearge index rose 0.27 %, the S&P 500 index edged up 0.31% and the Nasdaq composite index increased slightly by 0.15%. From the perspective of the whole last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index lost 1.1%, the S&P 500 index was down 0.5%, both of the declines hit a new high since last December. In contrast, the Nasdaq index added 0.4%, which is the sixth consecutive week gain and made the longest rising stage since April 2010.