In March, Ralph Ronzio went to a warehouse in a seedy part of Orange County, California, and watched a man auction off his condo for half what he’d paid for it. Ronzio had bought the place for $329,000 in 2005, when he moved to Southern California from Rhode Island to take a job at a data-storage company. It was the first place he’d ever owned.
U.S. retailers’ sales will climb 3.4 percent this holiday season, slightly more than last year, even as companies expect more modest spending from consumers facing higher payroll taxes and economic uncertainty.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rebounded to within two points of its record after orders for U.S. durable goods climbed more than forecast in February and home prices increased the most since June 2006.