After a Monday pop traders went sour on the Greenback once again, likely pushed lower on positive risk sentiment fueled by improving economic data and expectations of more stimulus coming.
United States Headlines and Economic data
“Neither the president-elect, nor I, propose this relief package without an appreciation for the country’s debt burden. But right now, with interest rates at historic lows, the smartest thing we can do is act big,” Yellen, a former Federal Reserve chair, said in a prepared opening statement for her hearing before the committee.
“I believe the benefits will far outweigh the costs, especially if we care about helping people who have been struggling for a very long time,” she said in the statement, which was obtained by Reuters.
U.S. homebuilders confidence slips in January – “The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index slipped to a reading of 83 this month from 86. Economists polled by Reuters had expected the index would be unchanged at 86. A reading above 50 means more builders view market conditions as favorable than poor. The index hit an all-time high of 90 in November.”
“Housing starts jumped 5.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.669 million units last month, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast starts would rise to a rate of 1.560 million units in December. Homebuilding increased 5.2% on a year-on-year basis. Starts totaled 1.380 million in 2020, up 7.0% from 2019.”
“Permits for future homebuilding accelerated 4.5% to a rate of 1.709 million units in December. Permits, which typically lead starts by one to two months, totaled 1.452 million last year, a 4.8% increase from 2019.”
Mid-Atlantic factory activity surges in January: Philly Fed survey – “The Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s business condition index jumped to 26.5 in January from 9.1 in December. This topped expectations of a reading of 10.5 in January, according to a Wall Street Journal poll of economists.”
“Initial jobless claims in regular state programs declined by 26,000 to 900,000 in the week ended Jan. 16, according to Labor Department data Thursday. On an unadjusted basis, the figure dropped by more than 151,000 to 960,668.”
“Continuing claims in state programs — an approximation of the number of people receiving ongoing jobless benefits — decreased by 127,000 to 5.05 million in the week ended Jan. 9.”
“Closed sales of existing homes in December increased 0.7% from November to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 6.76 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors.”
“Sales were 22% stronger than December 2019.”