Tuesday, December 20, 2011

An Existentialist Report

The existing home sales release has always struck me as being the most enigmatically titled of economic reports. Don't all homes exist?

I keep waiting eagerly for the companion report, non-existing home sales. So far I've been disappointed. Existing home sales is a report Jean Paul Sartre would have loved.

Sales for homes that have a claim on reality will be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors. It tracks homes that have had a previous owner -- pre-owned homes, to use the old promotional terminology of the used-car lot.

Tuesday's housing report, tracking how many homes had begun construction, was credited as contributing to the sharp rise in the stock markets that day. If that was indeed a cause, then Wednesday's report will either confirm the bump or will provide a reason to give up some of the gains.

Weekly petroleum inventories will also come out, at 10:30 a.m. A big deal for the energy sector if there's a surprise. Otherwise, not much a market motivator.

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