Economic update for the week ending April 20, 2019
Stock markets hover near all time highs - In a holiday shortened week stocks closed almost unchanged. About 1/3 of companies have reported first quarter earnings so far. Most of those companies had a strong first quarter. China’s economic numbers have come in stronger than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 26,559.54, up 0.6% from 26,412.30 last week. It’s up 13.9% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,905.03, down 0.1% from 2,907.41 last week. It is up 15.9% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 7,998.06, up 0.2% from 7,984.16 last week. The NASDAQ is up 20.5% year to date.
Treasury Bond Yields unchanged this week - The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 2.57%, almost unchanged from 2.56% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.96%, also almost unchanged from 2.97% last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates follow bond yield yields.
Mortgage rates higher this week - The April 18, 2019 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.17%, up slightly from 4.12% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.62%, almost unchanged from 3.60% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.78%, down slightly from 3.80% last week.
March existing sales and price report- The California Association of Realtors reported that total existing home sales totaled 397,200 on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis in March. That was down 6.3% from the number of sales last March. The median price paid for a home in California in March was $565,880, up 0.2% from March 2018. There was a 3.6 month supply of homes for sale, up from a 2.9 month supply one year ago. On a regional basis: Los Angeles saw a 13% year over year declinein the number of sales, and a 0.2% decline in the median sales price from last March. Orange County saw a 12.5% drop in the number of sales and a median price decline of 1.8% from last March. The number of homes sold in Ventura County decreased 15.4% from last March, and the median price declined 0.2% from March 2018.