The closely-watched S&P Case-Shiller housing index comes out at 9:00, and it will provide a nice glimpse into whether or not housing is indeed double-dipping.
Most economists expect the report to look like the last few: a year-over-year decline but a slight improvement in the pace of change.
But as Kelly Evans at WSJ points out, the numbers are kind of a “win” no matter what:
When Federal Reserve officials devised their “stress tests” of banks last May, they anticipated that by the fourth quarter of 2009 home prices would be down 14% from the prior year, followed by a drop of 4% in 2010. Their worst-case scenario was even grimmer, with prices falling 22% in 2009 and 7% this year.
However, Tuesday’s Case-Shiller figures are expected to show that prices wound up dropping only 4% to 5% in 2009, and forecasters said they could hold roughly steady this year.
Yes, the housing market could still double dip, and the whole market could collapse if the government training wheels were to come off (which they won’t), but the news on housing has been good for banks, especially compared to jobs data which continues to be quite weak.