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Stocks Rise on Earnings, Jobless Claims; Housing Demand up, Building Slowing; France Reached Jobless Claims Peak in March

Stocks Rise on Earnings, Jobless Claims (Bloomberg)
Thanks to more earnings reports coming in, among them UPS, and a fall in jobless claims, stocks rose and the S&P 500 continued its winning streak for a fifth day. “The market is really looking at continued easing by the Fed,” Greg Woodard, a portfolio strategist at Manning & Napier in Fairport, New York, said. “They’re looking for signals of when the Fed is going to start to reverse that. Our view is that probably it’s going to be some time away.”

Housing Demand up, Building Slowing (CNBC)
With the housing market continuing to rebound, builders are finding it difficult to keep up with demand. “Builders are feeling pinched by rising costs of key building components (prices of gypsum, softwood lumber and concrete are all above 90 percent of their housing boom peak), which is causing home construction costs to rise at a faster pace than appraised values,” wrote David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders.

France Reached Jobless Claim Peak in March (Reuters)
March was host to France’s all-time high in jobless claims, a further sign of a struggling Europe. “At a time when France seems to be burying itself in recession, there is clearly a need to go further down the path of structural reforms, for the sake of future employment,” said ING economist Julien Manceaux. “However, current figures might increase the government’s efforts to stop the European emphasis on austerity.”

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