Happy last week of July!

As the scorching summer sun beats down upon us, it seems the housing market is not the only thing feeling the heat! Let’s take a sunburned look at the news and find some chuckles amidst the economic updates.  I know when I look into my nuked-landscape of a backyard I have nothing to do but smile and know the end is coming someday!

First up, we have the NAHB Housing Market Index.  Builder confidence rose one point in July to 56, putting us firmly in expansion territory. Confidence is soaring higher than a kite in July, just like the temperatures outside in PHX! It’s been climbing for seven straight months, making it the hottest streak we’ve seen in a minute.  Oh yeah, another streak…PHX is on its 24th consecutive day with temperatures peaking above 110 degrees.  The good news, we get down to around 90 degrees each night!

Now, let’s talk about jobs. Initial Jobless Claims fell 9,000 last week to 228,000. Employers are clearly holding onto their workers like they’re holding onto their icy lemonades! Continuing Claims rose 33,000 to 1.75 million. Swamp cooler or A.C.?

And can we talk about the Zillow Rent Index? Rent growth slowed to 4.1% in June. It’s like the rental prices are finally taking a breather from the heat! Maybe they’re seeking some shade in those new apartments underway, hoping for a cool-down!

Oh, and the Fed Funds Rate! The Fed’s playing weatherman, trying to predict inflation with consumer expectations and lagging indicators. Maybe they should hire their 400 economists to gauge the temperature of the economy instead.  Regardless, they’re hiking rates, but let’s see if they come with a more dovish tone. The bond market might just do a happy dance if they do!

Finally, this week’s market-moving news.  The Fed’s got a two-day meeting, and they’re ready to make some announcements. The inflation measure, Personal Consumption Expenditures, is joining the party on Friday.  And in the housing news, Case-Shiller and the Federal Housing Finance Agency are making an appearance.  Tune in next week for a recap of all that jazz.

So, there it is! The heat is on, and the housing market and the economy are feeling the burn. But remember, humor is like sunscreen for the soul, so let’s find a reason to laugh amid the financial firestorm! Stay cool, and may your investments be as refreshing as a dip in the pool!