Economic update for the week ending November 2, 2019

October  jobs report – The Department of Labor Statistics reported that 128,000 new jobs were added in October. The unemployment rate ticked up to 3.6%, from September’s 50 year low of 3.5%. Average hourly wages rose 3% year over year from last October.

Stocks ended the week at record highs – A third rate cut from the Federal Reserve, encouraging third quarter corporate earnings, a stronger than expected October new jobs report,  and a softening of trade and tariff tensions overcame a weak 1.9% annualized third quarter GDP increase and lifted stocks to all time highs.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 27,347.31, up 1.4% from 26,958.06  last week. It is up 17.2% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 3,066.91, up 1.5% from 3,022.55 last week. It is up 22.3% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 8,386.40, up 1.7% from 8,243.12 last week. The NASDAQ is up 26.4% year to date.

U.S. treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 1.73%, down from 1.80% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.21%, down  from 2.29%  last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates often follow bond yields.

Mortgage rates higher this week –  The October 31, 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 3.78% almost unchanged from 3.75% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.19%, unchanged  from 3.18% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.43%, almost unchanged from 3.40% last week.

Have a great weekend!