Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday's meager market action showed that much of Wall Street probably went home early to get a start on the US Thanksgiving holiday. There is no trading Thursday, and Friday is a partial day of trading.

Friday is also "Black Friday" in the US. That's the day most retailers move into profits for the year and the heaviest shopping day of the year. By next week select retailers like Wal-Mart will already be reporting their take on the economy based on Friday's shopping.

Guest Expert Commentary: Housing sector and the Economy

Stone & McCarthy analysts estimate it’ll last at least until the middle of next year. “The housing-related drag is likely to be more severe on both GDP and employment than generally thought,” they wrote in commentary today.

Ray Stone, economist at Stone & McCarthy, estimated the normal relationship between housing starts and housing sales, and concluded that, based on more than six months of inventory on the market, housing’s adjustment period will last until 2007. “It is clear that the recent level of new-home inventories has simply been too high, and that these inventories should be pared by at least 200,000 units before a rebalancing of inventories is re-established,” he writes.

However, the decline in construction will hurt GDP through most of 2007, he writes, saying it should subtract about 1.5% from GDP over the next year, “with the drag becoming increasingly pronounced into Q2-07.”
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