What Is the Present Housing Data Really Telling Us?

Stocks are up slightly on a relatively quiet morning but that doesn't mean economic data is non-existent at all.

At first glance, I got pretty excited about seeing a positive headline on new home sales (first story below), especially since the article calls it "... a sign that the market for new properties is building some momentum." But then I saw (via Daily Shot) that existing home sales in March were "disappointing" ... as the mentioned article also includes the comment that median prices for new homes "tumbled." So I am left writing comments on the strength of housing that not only confuse readers ... but confuses me as well ... as I don't really know what to make of what the present housing data is really telling us.So where do we look for an indication of what lies ahead? If we use information on leading indicators, we might have a degree of confidence ... but ... according to Daily Shot, citing data from Markit ... the indicators are pointing toward slower GDP growth to come. Yes, still there is growth (a positive) ... but slower growth is not welcome by any means.I did see one stat this morning, supplied by Bespoke, which I found absolutely amazing. You have probably been noticing the price of gasoline creeping up. No, this is not a figment of your imagination. According to Bespoke, the national average price of gasoline has been increasing for 69 days without a decline! Oh my. And yesterday's announcements surrounding placing constraints on Iranian oil certainly won't help.It is, then, time to pay more attention to the "Gas Buddy" app on my phone ... as the prices I've seen lately seem rather ridiculous (to someone, like me, who really hates overspending).On a final note for today, the last article below deals with losing weight ... and how people can do it quite cheaply (as in "free") ... simply by walking.I do have a certain amount of weight I'd like to lose so I did some calculations on how far I need to walk in order to reach my weight-loss goal.The only problem I have is I need to find out exactly where Wisconsin is.A look at today's news:One indication of how the consumer feels is seeing just how people are spending their money ... and new home sales (which are up) provides a hint of confidence ( StarTribune)... meanwhile, some high school seniors are figuring out where they will be attending college. Is a top-notch school really that good?Salary data tends to say so ( CNBC)... but your kids are younger... and just learning how to explore the internet. Can you keep them safe from bad sites? It's a battle, but there seems to be ways ( BBC)Greenland is, strangely, not so green as much of it is covered in ice. But that ice appears to be melting... causing worry for those in this Danish territory ( CNN)If this is correct, taxi drivers could be in for a bit of trouble... as always-optimistic Elon Musk claims driverless taxi service will be available by the end of next year (Vent ureBeat) Did you rush out the door without time for breakfast... once again? According to some health advocates, skipping breakfast is bad for your health ... and your heart ( CNN)... but you get some exercise to aid with your health... or, at least, help you lose weight. And what exercise is that? Walking. Free and easy ... so hopefully you have the time ( PopSugar)