The major stock averages are all in the green this morning after a better than expected home sales report and news that Japan’s central bank is expanding its bond buying program. Existing home sales jumped nearly 8% in August to an annual rate of 4.82 million units. This is its highest level since in more than 2 years. Most economists were expecting an annual rate of 4.55 million units. Housing starts also saw an increase of 2.3% to a rate of 750,000, but missed the 765,000 unit rate economists were expecting.
Japan didn’t want to be left out of the easing party and said it would step up its bond-buying to help its economy. This announcement wasn’t unexpected, but did come a bit earlier than most had anticipated. The Nikkei closed at a four month high following the announcement.
The Dow is up nearly 41 points right now, the Nasdaq is up about 2 points and the S&P 500 is up 3.85 points. [Read more...]