Economic update for the week ending August 24, 2019
Stocks lower for the fourth straight week – Stock markets were on track to finish higher this week, ending a three week slide until China initiated a new round of retaliatory tariffs and President Trump announced that he would do the same on Friday. Following the back and forth, stocks sustained heavy loses and ended the week down sharply. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 25,628.90, down 1.0% from 25,886.01 last week. It’s up 9.9% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,847.11, down 1.4% from 2,888.68 last week. It is up 13.6% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 7,751.27, down 1.8% from 7,895.99 last week. The NASDAQ is up 16.8% year to date.
Treasury Bond Yields at lowest level in 3 years – Bond yields dropped sharply on recession fears – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 1.52%, down slightly from 1.55% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.02%, unchanged from 2.01% last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates often follow bond yields.
Mortgage rates near record lows – The August 22, 2019 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 3.55%, down from 3.60% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.03%, down slightly from 3.07% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.32%, almost unchanged from 3.36% last week.
July 2019 nationwide home sales report – Lower rates lead to more home sales and higher prices nationwide – The National Association of Realtors announced that the number of total existing home sales jumped 2.5% in July from the number of homes sold in June. Year over year the number of sales were up 0.6% from last July. Total existing home sales include re-sale single-family, condominiums, town-homes, and co-ops. The median price increased 4.3% from July 2018. That marked the 89-straight month on year over year increases in the median price. Inventory levels were slightly below one year ago. There was a 4.2 month supply of homes for sale in July, down from a 4.3 month supply last July.
Have a great weekend!