Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

The Week Ahead

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

The Week Ahead

Article excerpt

Eye on homebuilders

A survey of U.S. homebuilders should provide insight into how sales trends are shaping up heading into next year. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index has been consistently above 60 since June. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor.

The November reading slipped even as builders overall outlook remained favorable. The December figure is due out on Tuesday.

Fed rate hike?

The Federal Reserve is scheduled to deliver a statement on interest rate policy Wednesday.

The remarks will follow a two-day meeting of the central banks policymakers.

The Fed is expected to announce that it is raising its benchmark interest rate for the first time in nearly a decade.

That would signal the central bank is confident the economy is strong enough to withstand higher borrowing costs.

Quadruple witching

The week concludes with Wall Streets version of the witching hour.

Friday is quadruple witching day, which marks the simultaneous expiration of four kinds of options and futures contracts. The oddly named phenomenon happens four times a year, and forces traders to tie up loose ends in contracts they hold. The witching hour is what traders sometimes call the final stretch of such a day, before the closing bell.

Surge in foreclosures

Call it a flashback to the bad old days of the U.S. foreclosure crisis.

Even as the U.S. housing recovery has continued to strengthen this year, more homes have already been lost to foreclosure than in all of 2014.

Through the first 11 months of this year, 410,219 homes have completed the foreclosure process and ended up being repossessed by a lender, according to RealtyTrac Inc.

Thats a 25 percent increase from the roughly 327,000 completed foreclosures in all of 2014, the firm said.

Completed foreclosures peaked at 1. …

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