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The Housing Recovery Is Over (David Rosenberg)
Sales of existing homes unexpectedly fell 0.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.92 million in March, and Gluskin Sheff’s David Rosenberg believes it’s a sign the housing recovery has peaked. “Most of this recovery in the housing sector is probably behind us,” Rosenberg told Yahoo’s Daily Ticker. Sales will “probably level off for the next several months” which is not “the worst thing in the world.”
Travel on all roads and streets declined -1.4% (-3.1 billion vehicle miles) for February 2013 as compared with February 2012, Advisor Perspectives’ Doug Short writes. If you adjust the figure for population, you get this chart:
“There are profound behavioural issues apart from gasoline prices that are influencing miles driven,” he writes. “These would include the demographics of an ageing population in which older people drive less, continuing high unemployment, and the ever-growing ability to work remote in the era of the Internet.”
Paper Gold Is Dead, Long Live Physical Gold (Frank Holmes)
There’s been a huge sell-off in gold ETFs, U.S. Funds’ Frank Holmes notes. But gold bugs aren’t fleeing the scene. Rather, they’re now piling into physical gold, he writes. “On one day alone, April 17, buyers scooped up a record 63,500 ounces from the U.S. Mint. This is equivalent to 2 tons of gold, ‘more than the previous two months combined,’ according to Zero Hedge. This is a drastic move compared to recent history.” What’s driving the shift? “Economics 101” he writes. “The coin supply is limited and the demand is high.”
Things Are Looking Ugly After First Week Of Earnings Season (David Kostin)
With 33% of the S&P reporting, the first earnings season of 2013 is looking very bad indeed, according to Goldman’s David Kostin. “Positive earnings surprises are tracking below average this quarter (36% vs. 47%). The percentage of firms missing earnings estimates by one standard deviation or more is also below the 40 quarter average (13% vs. 15%) implying more firms have reported results in- line with consensus expectations.”
Growth Is Back! (Brian Wesbury)
First Trust’s Brian Wesbury is holding to a 3.1% GDP tick for Q1 GDP on rising consumer spending, business investment, and home building. “Three per cent is nothing to sneer at. Monetary policy is loose, housing is rapidly recovering, Corporate America has high profits and strong balance sheets, and entrepreneurs are innovating at a breakneck pace.”
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