Economy Watch: Oil Prices, Home-Price Increases
- Nov 11, 2014
The worldwide price of oil continued its fall over the weekend, and slipped further on Monday, with the international benchmark Brent crude coming in at $82.34, the lowest price in more than four years. West Texas intermediate also dropped.
Much of the downward pressure on prices has come from an excess of supply and a softening of demand in most of the industrialized world (the U.S. economy is an exception). In recent months, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the International Energy Agency and OPEC have all cut their forecasts for global oil demand growth in the coming year.
Domestically, the price of gas continues to drop as well, promising American consumers a little more spending money going into the holiday season. According to AAA, the average U.S. price for a gallon of regular gas on Monday was $2.927, compared with $2.98 a week earlier, and $3.24 a month ago.
Home-Price Increases Continue to Slow
FNC reported on Monday that its Residential Price Index (a composite 100 index), which tracks U.S. residential property values, dropped 0.3 percent from August to September. The company’s other indexes (10-MSA, 20-MSA, 30-MSA) decreased between 0.4 percent and 1 percent in September. The indexes aren’t seasonally adjusted, and are for non-distressed home sales (excluding REOs and short sales).
The year-over-year change was lower in September than in August, with the 100-MSA composite up 6.3 percent compared with a year earlier. The annual increases as reported by FNC have been slowing down since February, when that metric stood at 9.3 percent.
Wall Street gained moderately on Monday, but it was enough to put the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 at record nominal highs. The Dow was up 39.81 points, or 0.23 percent, to end at 17,613.74. The S&P 500 gained 0.31 percent and the Nasdaq advanced 0.41 percent.
Year to date, the Dow is up 6.26 percent, with all of the losses seen in October now erased. The S&P 500 year to day is up 10.27 percent, with the Nasdaq gaining 11.37 percent for the same period.