Money Talk Podcast, Friday May 24, 2024

Advisors on This Week’s Show

Kyle Tetting
Adam Baley
Tom Pappenfus
(with Max Hoelzl and Joel Dresang, engineered by Jason Scuglik)

Week in Review (May 20-24, 2024)

Significant Economic Indicators & Reports


No major releases


No major releases


The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales fell 1.9% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.1 million houses. The trade group blamed low inventory, high mortgage rates and elevated prices for slower sales, which were down nearly 2% from the April 2023 pace. Although inventories rose 9% from March and 16% from the year before, they represented a 3.5-month supply, below the 6-month level typically considered needed for sustained sales. The median sales price rose 5.7% from April 2023 to $407,600. The Realtors said continued increases in inventory should spur sales in coming months by keeping prices in more control.


The four-week moving average for initial unemployment insurance claims rose for the third week in a row to its highest level since early December. An indication of employer reluctance to let workers go, the moving average still suggested a tight hiring market, down 40% from its all-time average, according to Labor Department data. Barely 1.7 million Americans received jobless benefits in the latest week, down 3.2% from the week before but up 4% from the year before.

The annual sales rate of new houses slowed in April, remaining below the pre-pandemic level for the 11th month in a row. The Commerce Department said the sales pace was 634,000, down nearly 5% from March and down almost 8% from the year before. The rate in the Midwest picked up to its highest level since June 2021. The supply of new houses for sale climbed to 9.1 months’ worth, the biggest since November 2022. The median price for a new house rose just under 4% from the year before to $433,500.


The Commerce Department said durable goods orders rose 0.7% in April, the slightest of three consecutive gains. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, orders grew by 0.4%, led by automotive. Excluding defense orders, demand for manufacturing was unchanged from March. Compared to April 2023, overall orders rose 0.5%; excluding transportation, orders advanced 2.1%. A proxy for business investments rose 0.3% from March and was up 1.2% from April 2023.

The University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index declined in May to its lowest level of the year. The survey-based index dropped as respondents expressed concerns about the job market and interest rates. Economists eye sentiment as a precursor to consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. Despite the monthly setback, the sentiment index was up about 20% from the year before and 40% higher than its all-time low in mid-2022, when inflation reached a four-decade peak. The university said improved sentiment over the last couple of years reflected slower inflation.


  • Nasdaq – 16921, up 235 points or 1.4%
  • Standard & Poor’s 500 – 5305, up 1 points or 0.0%
  • Dow Jones Industrial – 39069, down 934 points or 2.3%
  • 10-year U.S. Treasury Note – 4.47%, up .05%