While waiting for home sales, CarMax wins, consumer spending

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Updated 1 hour and 8 minutes ago

A look at some of the major trade events and economic indicators coming up this week:

HOUSING MARKET BAROMETER

Economists expect contract signatures on US homes to slow in August for the third consecutive month.

They predict that the National Association of Realtors’ pending home sales index, due out on Wednesday, will show a 0.1% drop from July. The signing of contracts is a barometer of future real estate purchases. There is usually a delay of a month or two between a contract and a final sale.

Pending home sales index, monthly percentage change:

March 1.7

April -4.4

May 8.3

June -2.0

July -1.8

August (est.) -0.1

Source: FactSet

HOT WHEELS

Wall Street is awaiting another strong quarterly report from CarMax.

The used car dealership has benefited from strong demand which is pushing up the prices of used vehicles. The company posted significantly higher profits for the first quarter that ended in May, as revenue doubled due to an increase in the number of vehicles sold and higher average prices. CarMax releases its second quarter tax results on Thursday.

EYE ON CONSUMERS

The Commerce Department delivers its August snapshot of consumer spending on Friday.

Consumer spending has moderated since rising 5.2% in March. Monthly spending increases since then have not exceeded 1.1%. Spending rose only 0.3% in July, as infections from the delta variant of COVID-19 spread and inflation accelerated to its fastest annual pace in three decades. Americans represent 70% of economic activity, so the more they spend, the more the economy grows.

Consumer expenditure, monthly percentage change, seasonally adjusted:

Feb. -1.1

March 5.2

April 1.0

May 0.1

June 1.1

July 0.3

Source: FactSet


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