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“As sure as the spring will follow the winter, prosperity and economic growth will follow recession.” – Bo Bennett
Up until a few minutes ago, the most impressive stats of the morning were the monster comp sales growth numbers from Home Depot (HD) and Walmart (WMT), but the just-released Housing Starts and Building Permits reports for the month of July blew the doors off expectations. Housing Starts were expected to come in at a level of 1.24 million on a SAAR basis but came in more than 200K higher at 1.496 million (highest since February). Building Permits were similarly strong. While economists were expecting the headline reading to come in at a SAAR level of 1.32 million, the actual reading was just under 1.5 million. That was the best reading for Building Permits since January.
If you’re keeping track at home, Retail Sales hit a record high on Friday, and now Housing Starts and Building Permits are back to pre-pandemic levels. Obviously, these strong numbers have been aided by the relief programs put in place in response to the COVID outbreak, but the strength does show that these programs were effective.
Be sure to check out today’s Morning Lineup for a rundown of the latest stock-specific news of note, market performance in the US and Europe, trends related to the COVID-19 outbreak, and much more.
As mentioned above, the most impressive numbers of the morning originally were the same-store sales results from Home Depot and Walmart. Same-store sales at WMT increased by 9.9% while HD sales increased by over 23%. Keep in mind that these numbers cover a period where the US economy is in a recession!