Federal Reserve Released Minutes From Latest Meeting… Central bankers emphasized caution and holding rates higher for longer than in the past.
What it means— Nothing; it means nothing. The minutes of the Fed meeting confirmed what we already knew that there is almost no chance of the central bank raising rates in December. The bankers pointed to soft retail sales and expensive funding (as a result of higher rates) as evidence that their programs are working. Investors have been talking about these things for weeks, so they weren’t surprised. The minutes were a nothingburger.
Existing Home Sales Drop to Lowest Level Since August 2010… Sales fell 14.6% from the same time last year.
What it means— The word “torpor” technically describes a state of being of a person or animal, but it fits the market for existing homes today. Months of supply increased not because so many people put their homes up for sale but because so few homes are changing hands. Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates touched 8% before falling below 7.5%, so perhaps buyers are waiting for even lower rates. Interestingly, the median sale price rose for the fourth consecutive month to $391,800, which suggests that the standoff between buyers and sellers continues.
Initial Jobless Claims Fall Again, Drop From 233,000 to 209,000… The current reading is a five-week low.
What it means— The labor market remains strong, even though retailers reported hiring fewer seasonal workers. Continuing claims dropped a bit as well, from 1.862 million to 1.84 million. This is why Fed Chair Powell and his fellow bankers likely will keep rates high well into 2024. They don’t want to foment another round of inflation inadvertently by making credit cheaper.
Subway Charged a Woman More Than $7,000 for a Sandwich… Vera Conner knows what her normal Subway sandwich costs, $7.54, so she was surprised when she saw a $7,112.98 charge from a Subway in College Park, GA, on her credit card statement. Conner looked at the tip line on the receipt, noticed that several of the digits matched her phone number, and presumed that the credit card machine was processing the transaction when she was trying to enter her number for points. Regardless of how it happened, the manager of the Subway refused to acknowledge the mistake—as if anyone might intentionally spend more than $7,000 on a Subway meal—and her credit card company denied her request to reverse the charge. Conner made headway only after posting the situation on social media and tagging Subway.
Data supplied by HS Dent Research
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