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OPINION

Marching On

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The resolve of the markets continues in light of the latest developments in Paris with at least two more dead, including a woman who blew herself up. Despite all of this, the markets remain in the green and the DOW is up for the third straight day.

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U.S. crude fell below $40 today even though inventories were moderately bullish with a smaller than expected build. But analyst believe that large global supplies will continue to keep pressure on pricing. Crude inventories rose to 487.3 million barrels up 252,000 from last week. Analyst had expected an increase of 1.9 million barrels. Stockpiles of 490.9 million barrels are at record highs. Brent was down as well to $43.46. Between the demand slowdown and oversupply, it appears we will continue to a have protracted period of lower prices.

We received another read on the consumer and housing. Mortgage applications increased 6.2% in the last week. Purchase applications were up 12% from the prior week and 19% from this time last year, as the shift from cash purchases to mortgage dependent buyers’ increases. Refinance applications were up 2% as more people are locking in before the anticipated rate hike.

The Commerce Department also released data on the US housing market. Housing starts fell to a seven month low for single family homes, the lowest read since March, to annual pace of 1.06 million units. The South saw a decline of 6.9%, and an increase in the Northeast, Midwest and West. However, October marked the 7th month that housing starts remained above 1 million. September was also revised lower to 1.19 million. The data points to a housing market recovery that is sustainable as the labor market gets stronger and more adults leave the comforts of their parent’s basements. Multi-family starts declined to 338,000-unit pace, a whopping 25.1%.

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Building permits increased last month 1.15 million-unit rate up 4.1 percent. Single-family building permits were up 2.4 percent, highest level since December 2007. Multi-family building permits increased 6.8 percent.

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