S&P 500 exits correction. Based on data going back to 1928, the S&P 500 has seen a median gain of 11.5% a year after exiting correction, and an average gain of nearly 14% — rising nearly 77% of the time. Median and average returns for shorter-term time frames were also positive. Stocks have subsequently bounced as the war continued and as the Fed has signaled it will move quickly and aggressively. Read more here.
Mortgage refinance demand plunges by 60%. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($647,200 or less) increased to 4.80% from 4.50%. Refinance applications fell 15% for the week and were down 60% from a year ago. Homebuyers today continue to face sky-high prices and record low supply, in addition to rising mortgage rates.
Florida office market remains extremely strong, as many companies from the North move down South. The historical I-95 two-way axis between New York and South Florida has become a one-way street in favor of the latter due to their respective mandate policies. In the long run, office landlords will adapt by dividing the traditional 50,000-foot office spaces into smaller spaces, occupied by multiple smaller-sized companies. Read more here.
The U.S. is shipping more natural gas than ever overseas. It's keeping domestic inventories lean and power prices high. This year prices climbed into spring, thanks to record export volumes and promises from the White House to support the shipment of even more liquefied natural gas, or LNG, to allies across the Atlantic to supplant Russian supply.
The housing boom continues with US home prices hitting a record high for the 36th month in a row. Prices have increased 19% over the last year and more than doubled over the last 10 years. US rents hit a new high again in March, up 17% over the prior year. So you have home prices up 19% and rents up 17% while the largest component of CPI (shelter @ 33% of the index) is reporting housing inflation at only 4.7% over the last year. Read more here.
The condo recovery is underway — but houses remain hotter. Competition for condos has been fierce in the past year as buyers once again looked for homes nearer their cities' urban centers. Rising prices are pushing single-family homes out of reach for a lot of buyers, so condos are affordable in comparison. They often prefer it, because they’re close to the office and all the amenities of the city.
WHAT TO WATCH
German economic advisors send a recession warning as Putin’s gas deadline nears. Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that imposing an immediate ban on Russian energy imports would mean plunging our country and the whole of Europe into a recession. Earlier on Wednesday, Germany’s Economy Minister Robert Habeck triggered the first warning, out of three possible levels, about gas stockpiles.
FedEx wants autonomous trucks. Outgoing FedEx CEO Fred Smith said that FedEx will make an “enormous effort” to begin using autonomous trucks in 2022. Smith wasn’t talking about slow-moving, last-mile delivery vehicles moving through a neighborhood, however. He was talking about semi-trucks that drivers will see hurtling down interstate highways.
Joint venture aims to replace Russian gas with Hydrogen. German energy group E.ON SE and Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest are teaming up to produce green hydrogen to replace Russian gas. The goal is to produce hydrogen in Australia using wind and solar power and begin shipping it to Europe and distributing it through E.ON’s pipelines. Deliveries would begin in 2024 and build up to a volume of 5 million tons of hydrogen a year by 2030. Read more here.
Lumber prices are falling, but analysts are skeptical. Lumber prices have dropped more than 20% in March, which marks a significant decline from their near-record highs. But analysts told Fortune that home buyers shouldn’t celebrate quite yet. Even as lumber prices come down, for now, builders say rising gas prices could elevate costs