New-home sales rebound in May The numbers: New-home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual 689,000 rate in May.
What happened: Sales of newly-constructed homes were 6.7% higher than a downwardly-revised April pace, and 14.1% higher than a year ago, the Commerce Department said Monday.
That beat the MarketWatch consensus of a 668,000 selling pace, although revisions to prior months were mostly negative.
The median sales price in May was $313,000, 3.3% lower than a year ago. With a faster selling pace, it would take less time to exhaust available inventory: 5.2 months at the current pace, compared to 5.4 months in April.
The big picture: New-home sales have been grinding slowly higher, but month-by-month reports from the government, which are based on small samples of data, are always choppy. In May, year-to-date sales were 8.8% higher than the same period in 2017, a tick up from 8.4% in April. May’s pace was the second-strongest of the current cycle.
The biggest challenge f..Read More →

U.S. government bond yields slide as Treasury plans curbs on Chinese investment Prices for U.S. government bonds rose on Monday, pushing yields lower, after the Treasury Department was reportedly planning to restrict firms with at least 25% Chinese ownership from buying a piece of leading U.S. technology firms.
What are Treasurys doing? The 10-year Treasury note yield TMUBMUSD10Y, -0.66% slipped 2.9 basis point to 2.871%. The 2-year note yield TMUBMUSD02Y, -0.49% ticked lower by 2.1 basis points to 2.529%, while the 30-year bond yield TMUBMUSD30Y, -0.48% fell by 2.0 basis point to 3.024%.
Bond prices move in the opposite direction of yields.
What’s driving the market? The Treasury Department is drafting limits on Chinese investment into U.S. companies with “industrially significant technology,” a government official with knowledge of the matter said on Sunday. Plus, the National Security Council and the Commerce Department are coming up with export controls to prevent important tech..Read More →

Even side hustles pay men more than women—including driving for Uber Men make more than women in their side hustles.
Women Uber drivers earn 93 cents on the dollar compared to men, according to a study distributed Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research. “The uniqueness of our data — knowing exactly the production and compensation functions — permits us to completely unpack the underlying determinants of the gender earnings gap,” the researchers wrote.
The authors found that the gender gap is caused by three factors: How long they’ve been driving on the platform, preferences over where/when to work and driving speed. The authors include economists from the Graduate School of Business and Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research at Stanford University, and Jonathan Hall, chief economist and director of public policy at Uber. (Uber did not respond to request for comment on the findings.)
“This suggests that, as the gig economy grows and brings more flexibility in emp..Read More →

What we can learn from frugal millionaires Perhaps you’ve heard the story of Ronald Read. A lifelong resident of Brattleboro, Vt., Read was a quiet man. He preferred flannel shirts and spent much of his career as an attendant at a local gas station. Yet, when he died in 2014, even his closest friends were surprised to learn that Read had accumulated a fortune of more than $8 million.
Stories like this appear with some regularity.
In 2010, Grace Groner, who was an administrative assistant in Lake Forest, Ill., left behind $7 million. In 2013, Doris Schwartz, a former schoolteacher in Pennsylvania, bequeathed more than $3 million. In 2016, Sylvia Bloom, a legal secretary in Brooklyn, left nearly $9 million.
In each case, the story in the local paper was virtually the same, highlighting the individual’s unusual, and often extreme, thrift. Grace Groner lived in a one-bedroom house and bought her clothes at garage sales. Sylvia Bloom continued taking the subway to work every day until s..Read More →