US Stocks finished broadly lower yesterday after the collapse of weekend talks over Greece's bailout plan. There continues to be a lack of progress in Greece's debt talks.
Building permits for new houses in the US rose 22% over the last 2 months which is the fastest pace since late 2007. Even with the sharp increases new housing construction remains far below long-term averages with builders trying to navigate an economy that has seen a protracted recovery from the Great Recession. Slow job and wage growth has made it tough for families, especially first-timers, to buy a new home.
In the wake of a sales slump the GAP said Monday that it plans to close 175 stores or 25% of their total store count to better reflect how their customers shop. After the closings there will be about 500 GAP stores remaining. The company also announced they plan to eliminate some home office jobs. All of that news sent shares of The GAP higher against a weak tape yesterday.
The US Manufacturing sector has slipped into a technical recession. 6 months in a row of decline is the definition of a recession. A strong dollar, global weakness, and lower oil prices are the contributing factors in the headwinds facing US manufacturers. The only bright spot has been manufacturing in the US auto sector.