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Better Sentiment - By Dominique Paul

The major equity markets rebounded during today's session. Consumer confidence remains high as the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index decreased very slightly to 43.2 from a reading of 43.5 in the prior week. This week's initial jobless claims report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics hints at why consumer sentiment remains high. For the week ended July 11th, initial jobless claims improved falling 15,000 to 281,000. The 4-week moving average increased by 3,250 from the previous week's revised average to 282,500. Continuing claims for the week ended July 4th dropped by 112,000 to 2.215 million and the 4-week moving average decreased by 3,000 to 2.264 million. Also, the unemployment rate for insured workers decreased to 1.6% from 1.7%.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released its July Housing Market Index (NYSE:HMI) report this morning. The HMI had a headline of 60, up significantly from the June 2014 low of 49. Growth was driven by the expectations component for single family sales over the next 6 months climbing to a reading of 71 from 69 in June 2015 and 63 in July 2014. Presently, single family sales are also up, the component rose to a reading of 66 from 65 in the prior month. The traffic of prospective buyers component decreased slightly to 43 from a reading of 44 in the prior month. Overall, the NAHB report demonstrates strength in the housing market and strong growth over last year.