Pending home sales sink 4.1% in February. It sets a grim tone as the housing market enters the key spring season. This is the fourth straight month of declines in pending sales, which are an indicator of future closings, one to two months out. The median monthly payment on a new mortgage is now taking up a much larger share of a typical consumer’s income. It jumped 8.3% in February compared with January.
US to boost supplies of liquefied natural gas to EU. The US is going to step up in order to reduce the EU's reliance on Russia. It’s a small dent but they are looking into other countries as well to do more. Biden and von der Leyen announced the formation of a joint Task Force on Energy Security, which will work on ways to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels.
EU and U.S. agree to a new data-sharing pact. News of the agreement will offer some respite for Meta and a slew of other firms which have faced legal uncertainty over how they move data across borders in the wake of the decision to scrap Privacy Shield. The new agreement will enable predictable and trustworthy data flows between the EU and US. Read more here.
Ford creates unit to develop autonomous vehicles. The Ford Next unit The unit contains Ford's stake in autonomous-auto startup Argo AI and will develop startups in mobility services and other businesses. The operation is another move by Jim Farley to carve up the 118-year-old carmaker into more agile and nimble pieces that can take on startups and tech giants such as Alphabet and its Waymo self-driving unit.
Buyers are moving states in record numbers. A new survey of Redfin.com users found that 32.3% planned to relocate in January and February. The growth of remote work is allowing more Americans to move. High-priced coastal areas tended to have the largest net outflow of Americans leaving. Buyers also appear to be drawn to warmer locations. Miami was the most popular destination followed by Phoenix and Tampa, Fla. Read more here.
Invest in companies with strong ROIC, says Motley Fool's John Rotonti. In an inflationary environment, the best businesses to own are those that are not capital intensive. In other words, those with high returns on invested capital. Because companies that are not capital intensive don't need a lot of capital in investing, maintaining, or growing their assets at a time when input costs for those assets are rising. Source(7:08)
The mortgage payment on the median asking price is up 25%. You're practically selling a house to buy a house. New home buyers are being priced out. The rise in home prices works in favor of the retiring boomers who are flush with capital because of either their savings or they just sold their last house. If you already had a previous home, you'll have no problem raising capital for a new one. Source(1:00:02)
WHAT TO WATCH
Apple is working on a subscription service for iPhones and other products. A move that could make device ownership similar to paying a monthly app fee. The service would be Apple’s biggest push yet into automatically recurring sales, allowing users to subscribe to hardware for the first time — rather than just digital services.
Nvidia is poised to lead the next tech boom, according to Ritholtz Wealth Management CEO Josh Brown. Brown said Nvidia had the potential to be a “one-stop-shop” for the underlying technology that powers the next wave of computing. His comments came after Nvidia held an investor event on Tuesday, detailing new initiatives and products related to artificial intelligence and the so-called omniverse. Read more here.
Oil and Gas will usher in the Bitcoin standard, says The Pomp. There were two separate milestones that are worth mentioning. First, Exxon Mobil - the largest US oil producer - has confirmed that they are mining bitcoin with excess natural gas to mine bitcoin. Meanwhile, Russia is considering accepting bitcoin as payment for their oil and natural gas. The geopolitical game theory is underway. Read more here.
Nvidia hints Intel partnership. Nvidia has confirmed that it is very interested in exploring the possibility of using Intel's foundries to produce Nvidia chips. Intel says it is thrilled about their interest. In the current environment of a global semiconductor shortage, the situation has become more all-hands-on-deck, with semiconductor companies appearing more willing to cooperate with one another to crank out more supply.
Nvidia and AMD are clear winners to watch for self-driving. If self-driving vehicles become mainstream and mass production for public use happens, automakers will be buying chips from chip makers like Nvidia and AMD. A specialized chip for self-driving will be the defining factor on who will gain from this industry. Source(1:13:01)