Economic reports struck a mostly positive tone, with the Census Bureau estimating that the seasonally adjusted annual pace for sales of new homes in the U.S. rose to 497,000 during June, which was its highest level since July 2008. The rate of home sales was up over 8% from a downwardly revised 459,000 in May, and rose 38% from a year earlier.
Financial information provider Markit said its "flash" Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) indicated that manufacturing in the U.S. had hit a four-month high during July, with the PMI rising to 53.2 from 51.9 in June. A reading higher than 50 indicates economic expansion.Markit said its Eurozone manufacturing flash PMI rose to an 18-month high of 50.1, showing a return to expansion as it rose from 48.8 in June. The encouraging figures for the U.S. and Europe seemed to overshadow a decline in the flash PMI for China, to an 11-month low of 47.7 in July from 48.2 in June. The KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) was down 0.5% to close at 66.38, with all but seven of the 24 index components down for the session. The index has returned 29% this year, following a 30% return during 2012. In his second-quarter summary for large-cap bank earnings results, Deutsche Bank analyst Matt O'Connor late on Monday wrote that the rise in interest rates late in the second quarter didn't have a meaningful effect on big banks' net interest income, and that "while there will be some benefit over time it's likely to be modest." "Part of this reflects banks' decision to reduce exposure to long-dated assets -- such as those with mortgages as the underlying collateral -- given these assets already represent a high 43% of deposits for banks," O'Connor wrote. While the asset shift will have some benefit to banks' net interest margins (NIM), "it's largely offset with a smaller balance sheet."
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