Scoreboard: Ceiling cracks

The US debt ceiling crisis looms large again although it's likely Congress will paper over the cracks and just get on with it; US home sales were good if not exceptional.

Apparently the US could run out of funds in just over two weeks – again. Yep, the debt ceiling drama is back on air, repeats only. While it’s not causing outright panic, the sluggish action across most markets suggest it might be weighing – if just at the margin. No reason to buy of course. Or maybe that’s because there isn’t a lot of other data or news out. Indeed on the data front we only saw new home sales and sure, these rose 7.9 per cent in August and that sounds awesome. Yet the result only partially reverses a 14 per cent slump the month prior. Moreover, at 421 thousand, new home sales are still below the average (700 thousand-ish) although well above the average through 2011 and 2012. Then we saw durable goods orders which rose 0.1 per cent in August after an 8 per cent fall the month prior. It’s not all bad on that front as the result was stronger than expected. More importantly though, if you strip out volatile items, core orders showed a 1.5 per cent lift in the month which is decent. In both cases the result was good but not good enough given the weakness of prior months to get punters excited.

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