U.S. Housing Market Index Unexpectedly Drops For 12th Straight Month In December

Metacrine, Equillium Agree To Terminate Merger Deal

Metacrine, Inc. (MTCR) and Equillium, Inc. (EQ) announced the mutual termination of definitive merger agreement.

Metacrine shares rise 5.40% to $0.4551 in the after-hours trading following scrapped Equillium deal. Equillium stock closed Friday’s trading at $0.89, down 6.30%.

Equillium first said to acquire Metacrine in an all-stock transaction in early 2022, with the intent of adding cash runway in a very difficult financing market.

“However, our recent strategic partnership with Ono Pharmaceutical is expected to extend our cash runway into 2025, and possibly further with potential option exercise and milestone payments”, said Bruce Steel, chief executive officer of Equillium.

Metacrine said it is continuing to evaluate all strategic opportunities.

Denver weather: Deep thaw continues as temps hit 50s on Christmas Day

The deep thawing across much of Colorado continues on Christmas Day as temperatures rebound from arctic levels.

Highs up and down the Front Range are expected to reach into the 50s on Sunday, with the plains sticking in the 40s, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

Still, the weather service classifies this as a white Christmas in metro Denver, given the snow-depth on the ground. Only 37% of years have made the cut, NWS said.

Photos: Denver Broncos lose 51-14 to Los Angeles Rams in NFL Week 16

The Denver Broncos lost to the Los Angeles Rams 51-14 on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

European Shares Gain As German Business Confidence Improves

European stocks rose notably on Monday after last week’s brutal selloff following hawkish signals from the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.

Sentiment was underpinned after Chinese policymakers pledged to fine-tune COVID controls and boost the country’s ailing property market.

Investors also reacted positively to the latest survey results showing that a measure of German business sentiment increased for a third straight month in December.

The Ifo business-climate index rose to 88.6 from a revised 86.4 in November. This was above economists’ forecast of 87.4.

The pan European STOXX 600 jumped 0.6 percent to 427.17 after declining 1.2 percent on Friday.

The German DAX climbed 0.7 percent, France’s CAC 40 index added 0.8 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained 0.4 percent.

Freenet AG jumped nearly 4 percent after Deutsche Bank raised its rating on the stock.

BP Plc gained more than 3 percent, Shell added 2.9 percent and TotalEnergies surged 3.1 percent, as oil prices jumped around 1 percent on optimism over demand recovery due to China’s easing of COVID curbs.

AstraZeneca edged down slightly after announcing mixed results from a lung cancer trial.

James Fisher & Sons rose nearly 2 percent. The provider of marine engineering services has announced the sale of three businesses, in two separate transactions.

One killed in Denver shooting on Christmas Day

One person has died after being shot Sunday night in Denver, according to Denver police.

The shooting took place in the 4800 block of North Crowne Boulevard, according to a DPD tweet at 6:21 p.m. The victim was transported to a hospital where they later succumbed to their injuries.

Denver police is investigating this as a homicide. No information on the suspect or the victim has been released.

If anyone has information about this shooting, Denver police is urging them to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.

PHOTOS: Nuggets beat Suns, 128-125, in overtime on Christmas

The Denver Nuggets defeated the Phoenix Suns, 128-125, in overtime in their Christmas night game on Dec. 25, 2022.

Reigning two-time MVP Nikola Jokic led the way with 41 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists.

European Economics News Preview: Italy Business & Consumer Confidence Data Due

Business and consumer survey results from Italy and revised national accounts from Spain are the top economic news due on Friday.

At 2.45 am ET, France’s INSEE is scheduled to issue producer prices for November. Prices had advanced 24.7 percent in October.

At 3.00 am ET, revised GDP data is due from Spain’s statistical office INE. The flash estimate showed that economic growth eased to 0.2 percent from 1.5 percent in the second quarter. The statistical office is expected to confirm the preliminary estimate.

At 4.00 am ET, Italy’s business and consumer confidence survey data. The business sentiment index is forecast to rise to 102.7 in December from 102.5 in the prior month. The consumer confidence index is seen at 98.5 versus 98.1 a month ago.

U.S. Housing Market Index Unexpectedly Drops For 12th Straight Month In December

Homebuilder confidence in the U.S. has unexpectedly seen a continued deterioration in the month of December, according to a report released by the National Association of Home Builders on Monday.

The report showed the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index fell to 31 in December from 33 in November. The decreased surprised economists, who had expected the index to rise to 36.

The housing market index declined for the twelfth straight month, falling to its lowest reading since mid-2012, with the exception of the onset of the pandemic in the spring of 2020.

“The silver lining in this HMI report is that it is the smallest drop in the index in the past six months, indicating that we are possibly nearing the bottom of the cycle for builder sentiment,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

He added, “Mortgage rates are down from above 7% in recent weeks to about 6.3% today, and for the first time since April, builders registered an increase in future sales expectations.”

The NAHB said the index gauging current sales conditions dropped to 36 in December from 39 in November, while traffic of prospective buyers index held steady at 20.

Meanwhile, the report showed the component charting sales expectations in the next six months climbed to 35 in December from 31 in November.

The Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new residential construction in the month of November on Tuesday.