KOMU Market Report: FAA Tower Closures, Cyprus, Housing Market
COLUMBIA - Sequester budget cuts are the sole reason behind the FAA's decision to close the Columbia Regional Airport air-traffic control tower, along with towers at 148 other private airports across the country. This is just one attempt by the FAA to cut the $627 million in expenses by Sept. 30 that the sequester demands.
Yet, Wall Street seems to be shrugging off any potential sequester victims, and any other negative news for that matter. Turmoil in the tiny European nation Cyprus did not spark a major correction in stocks this week like some thought it would. That's as the bankrupt country edges closer to the Monday deadline from the Eurozone to find a rescue plan for its failing banks.
It was a wild week, but markets managed to rebound from their biggest drop in nearly a month to end on a positive note for the day. But, they finished in the red for the week. The Dow snapped a four-week win streak and the S&P 500 logged its second losing week this year.
The Dow increased 90.54 points, or 0.6%, to close at 14,512.03. Seven of its 30 components closed down. The Dow lost less than 0.01% this week.
The S&P 500 index gained 11.09 points, or 0.7%, closing at 1,556.89. Consumer discretionary and consumer staples stocks led the S&P's gains, but the index was down 0.2% for the week.
The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 22.40 points, or 0.7%, to 3,245.00. Apple helped, gaining 2% today. But like the other indexes, the Nasdaq finished the week in negative territory, down 0.1%.
Markets were comforted by the Federal Reserve's promise to continue to pump money into the economy in the form of QE, while keeping borrowing rates at record lows. Investors were also encouraged by a slew of positive economic data out this week, especially in housing.
Construction of new homes and apartments in February shot up most in 5 years, while sales in existing homes rose to three year highs. Get this: homebuilders say that can't get a hold of enough land building materials and workers to keep up with demand.
Mid-Missouri falls in line with that trend. Single family home sales in Boone County are up month over month for January and February both and the president of Columbia's Board of Realtors told me she expects that trend to continue.
"We are going to see a slow trend in price increases, especially if interest rates stay the same or don't increase over that 4.5% mark for a while," said Jessica Kempf.
Kempf added those signs point to a shift from a buyer's to a seller's market. Stocks are on upswing as well, but the long-awaited correction is on investor's minds.
Here's what could impact markets in the week ahead:
The first quarter comes to an end next week - believe it or not - and investors will turn their attention to corporate profits as earnings season starts.