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U.S. jobless claims, housing data point to firming economy


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http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0PQ1AJ20150716?irpc=932

The number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week and confidence among homebuilders held at a more than 9-1/2-year high in July, indicating underlying momentum in the economy.

The solid labor market and firming housing sector, underscored by Thursday's reports, suggest the economy likely is strong enough to support an interest rate hike this year. Manufacturing, however, continues to struggle.

"Overall, the economy continues to move in the right direction. We look for the Federal Reserve to hike rates twice before the end of the year beginning in September," said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York.Fed Chair Janet Yellen told lawmakers on Wednesday that the U.S. central bank remained on course to tighten monetary policy "at some point this year."

Closer to a peace and security possibility.

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