New home sales fell 7 percent in the month of December, far missing economists’ expectations, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
The Commerce Department reports sales of new, single-family homes dropped 7 percent in December to an annual rate of 414,000 units, considerably weaker than the 457,000-unit rate economists forecast.
However, U.S. equity markets rose early Monday following the worst week since 2012 after heavy-machinery giant Caterpillar posted strong quarterly results. Caterpillar (CAT) reported a significant better-than-expected quarterly profit result. Shares of the world’s biggest maker of heavy machinery, which is also seen as an economic bellwether, rose 5 percent.
Thus far, it seems that Wall Street is reacting to Caterpillar and ignoring the danger signs in U.S. housing markets.
Results from Apple (AAPL), the world’s No. 1 tech company, are due out after the closing bell.