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Tuesday: New Home Sales, Case-Shiller House Prices, Durable Goods

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This will be an interesting case to watch, from Reuters: Stockton, California bankruptcy eligibility trial starts

As the biggest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy, the outcome for Stockton will be an important test case for the .7 trillion U.S. municipal debt market. The hearing is expected to last most of this week.

Stockton, along with Jefferson County in Alabama and smaller San Bernardino, California, has said its bondholders will be asked to take losses.

Lawyers for bondholders and insurers, which will have to repay investors for any capital losses, argue the decision by Stockton to not seek to impair its largest creditor, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, shows a lack of good faith – a reason that should block Stockton’s request for bankruptcy protection under federal bankruptcy law.

Usually employees, including pensions, come before bondholders and insurers in a bankruptcy case.  But I don’t know all the details of this case and I’m looking forward to reading the ruling.

Tuesday economic releases:
• At 8:30 AM ET, Durable Goods Orders for February from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for a 3.5% increase in durable goods orders.

• At 9:00 AM, the S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index for January will be released. The consensus is for a 8.2% year-over-year increase in the Composite 20 index (NSA) for January. The Zillow forecast is for the Composite 20 to increase 8.0% year-over-year, and for prices to increase 0.8% month-to-month seasonally adjusted.

• At 10:00 AM, New Home Sales for February from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for a decrease in sales to 425 thousand Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) in February from 437 thousand in January. Even with the forecast decline in sales rate, this would be a 16% year-over-year increase in sales.

• Also at 10:00 AM, the Richmond Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for March. The consensus is for a reading of 5.5 for this survey, down from 6.0 in February (Above zero is expansion).

• Also at 10:00 AM, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for March. The consensus is for the index to decrease to 69.0.

Calculated Risk

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