Initial jobless claims reached a new cycle low last week of 247,000.
Last week is the sample week for the April non-farm payroll report, so expect another strong NFP number. A tight labor market is a good environment for the staffing business. I still like RHI, which reports earnings Tuesday AMC. I expect a strong report from RHI due to the strong labor market, stabilization in the oil patch, and strength in Protiviti, their consulting business.
The FHFA home price index increased by 0.4% in February. This data shows a continuation of a housing slowdown that began late in 2015. The year-over-year increase was 5.6%, but this is likely to continue it's decent unless the rate of change in home price growth turns positive after 3 months of slowing growth. I have reduced my positions in housing related stocks, AYI and APOG. I am hopeful growth will firm up again, but I'll wait until the housing data improves before rebuilding these positions.
Michael Grove, CFA