Economic update for the week ending September 7, 2019
130,000 new jobs added in August – The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that U.S. employers added 130,000 new jobs in August. That figure was below analysts expectations of 160,000. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%. Average hourly wages grew 3.2% from last August.
Stock markets higher this week – News that China and the U.S. scheduled trade negotiations in October in Washington helped stocks rally for a second straight week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 26,797.46, up 1.5% from 26,403.28 last week. It’s up 14.9% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,978.71, up 1.8% from 2,926.46 last week. It is up 18.8% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 8,103.07, up 1.8% from 7,962.88 last week. The NASDAQ is up 22.1% year to date.
U.S. treasury bond yields slightly higher – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 1.55%, up from 1.50% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.02%, up from 1.96% last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates often follow bond yields.
Mortgage rates near record lows – The September 5, 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 3.49%, down from 3.58% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.0%, down from 3.06% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.30%, unchanged from 3.31% last week.