New-home sales fall 8.1% in June

Sales of new single-family homes fell 8.1% in June, and May's previously reported surge was slashed by a record revision.

Paired with June's slippage, newly updated sales figures for March, April and May show the industry's spring performance was weaker than previously estimated, the Census Bureau reported Thursday.

June sales hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 406,000, the second-weakest pace of the year, Census said. May's level was cut to 442,000 from the 504,000 annual pace Census reported a month ago.


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Focus on... Caterpillar: Raises Forecast, But Falling Sales Clip Stock

Caterpillar chief Doug Oberhelman sounded an upbeat tone in the heavy equipment company's second-quarter earnings release, but another quarter of falling sales left investors less than thrilled Thursday morning.

"We're pleased with our second-quarter results," Oberhelman said in earnings report, "particularly the improvement in profit" as Caterpillar booked earnings per share of $1.57, up from $1.45 a year earlier. Excluding a restructuring hit, profit was $1.69 per share.

The sales picture was cloudy though, with overall revenue down 3.2% to $14.2 billion. The second-quarter decline marked the sixth time in the last seven quarters that sales were down year-over-year, with the only break in the streak a slim 0.2% gain in the first quarter.


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