Economic and Investment News Bits
- According to the National Association of Realtors, the average sales price of existing homes sold in the U.S. during May was $228,700, just 1% less than the all-time record high set in July 2006. Online real estate source Zillow tells us that the median home value in California is $415,000, Florida $157,000, Texas $138,000 and Ohio $112,000.
- “Chinese President Xi’s anti-corruption campaign has been underway now for almost three years and shows no sign of relenting. At the same time, leadership’s insecurity has resulted in crackdowns on opponents, critics, liberals, and Western values and influences. The end result is still unknown,” (Source: John Mauldin).
- Nike has signed an agreement to be the on-court gear supplier to the NBA, adding to its existing agreements with leading players. The announcement follows a recent strong sales quarter for the company, which continues to gain market share in the consumer goods sector, a bright spot in retail. (Source: Business Insider)
- “The sad fact is that Greece cannot pay its debts under any scenario. The amounts are just too large. We know this from documents sent to the German parliament last week. Unpayable debts are debts that won’t be paid. Greece’s creditors know this, yet they still demand payment,” (Source: The Guardian).
- “Physicians at the University of Queensland in Australia have found that non-drug treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease in mice, using a “scanning ultrasound” technique, yielded very positive results. Brain plaque cleared, and cognitive capacity improved in this very early-stage work. Implications: biotech investors should not neglect medical device innovators,” (Source: Guild Investment).
- Famous Columbus firsts: First junior high school (Indianola) in 1909; first metric markers on an interstate highway (I-71) in 1973; first-ever presidential candidate to make a campaign speech (William Henry Harrison in 1940; first state school for the blind in 1837.
Thought for the week
“Blessed are those who give without remembering and take without forgetting.”
Elizabeth Bibesco, British poet (1897-1945)
A Little Perspective
U.S. News & World Report compared how states’ public high schools prepare students for college, based on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests. Maryland ranked first, followed by California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, Florida, Ohio Maine, New York and Virginia. Another study by Wallethub ranks states based on a number of factors including dropout rate, pupil/teacher ratio, test scores, and schools safety measures. Top scorers were New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, Kansas, Colorado, Virginia, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Two studies, two very different rankings.
Chart of the Week (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Mortgage rates have moved above 4% for the first time this year. The average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.04% in June. By comparison, rates 30 years ago were above 12%, while rates 20 years ago hovered around 8%.
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