1:45 Midday Report:
Pending home sales in the U.S. rose by more than expected in the month of January, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Monday, with the pending home sales index rising to its highest level in almost two years.
NAR said its pending home sales index rose 2.0 percent to 97.0 in January from a downwardly revised 95.1 in December. Economists had been expecting to index to increase by about 1.5 percent. With the bigger than expected increase, the pending home sales index rose to its highest level since coming in at 111.3 in April of 2010.
A pending sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.
@leavitt: “The trend is up, but there are lots of warning signs. Several indicators are at an extreme level; several breadth indicators are diverging from the price action; some important groups such as the banks and semis did not match the market’s high high last Friday; and the small caps are lagging.
@telegraph: More from Angela Merkel’s speech now, as the debate continues in the Bundestag:
The risks of turning away from Greece now are incalculable. No-one can assess what consequences would arise for the German economy, on Italy, Spain, the eurozone as a whole and finally for the whole world. I can’t go in for adventure, my oath of office forbids it.
The road that lies in front of Greece is long and truly not without risk. That also goes for the success of the new program – no one can give a 100pc guarantee of success.
It’s expected that the bailout will be approved this afternoon, even if Merkel has to call on opposition support to push it through – the real hurdle could be in getting agreement to merge the EFSF and the ESM to create a larger rescue fund…