It's been a very long wait but the worst for the housing sector really does appear to be over. New home sales rose strongly in June with supply down markedly, complementing a run of solid reports on housing starts and sales of existing homes. But the news did little for the stock market which appears to be weighed down by prior gains. And in contrast to last week, stocks were not helped by earnings as insurer Aetna and glass maker Corning both posted disappointments. The S&P 500 inched higher to end just over 980. Oil firmed to $68.50 with base metals the best performer of all, extending a run of strong gains. Treasury yields, pressured by a massive week of coming supply, rose slightly with the 10-year ending at 3.72 percent. Gold ended firmly at $955.
In special notes related to the bust, the SEC has made permanent the ban on naked short selling while Congress will consider curbing the credit default market. In a final note, a Gallop poll shows Americans think the least of the Federal Reserve, ranking it at the very bottom of nine U.S. agencies. There's a rising debate whether Ben Bernanke, whose chairmanship expires in January, should be reappointed to another term. Bernanke appears to be on the offensive, defending the "too big to fail" dictum at a town hall meeting on Sunday.