Economic update for the week ending April 4, 2019
Employers add 196,000 new jobs in March - The Department
of Labor Statistics reported that U.S. employers added 196,000 new jobs in March. This exceeded analysts expectations of 175,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate held at 3.8%, a 50 year low. Average hourly wages grew 3.2% from last March.
Stocks continue to rise - 2019 has begun with a booming stock market. Markets are already up 13% to 17% year to date. The U.S. economy which appeared to be losing steam just a few months ago is taking off again. Overseas economies which seemed to be slowing are also rebounding. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 26,424.99, up 1.9% from 25,928.68 last week. It’s up 13.3% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,892.74, up 2.1% from 2,834.40 last week. It is up 15.4% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 7,938.69, up 2.7% from 7,729.32 last week. The NASDAQ is up 16.9% year to date.
Treasury Bond Yields higher after dropping for 14 weeks - The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 2.50%, up from 2.41% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.91%, up from 2.81% last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates follow bond yield yields.
30-year Mortgage rates remain at lowest levels since 2017 - The April 4, 2019 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.08%, almost unchanged from 4.06% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.56%, unchanged from 3.57% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.66%, down from 3.75% last week.