California employers add 46,700 jobs in July – The Employment Development Department reported that 46,700 new jobs were added in July. The unemployment rate held at a record low of 4.2%. The number of job gains exceeded expectations, but average hourly wages rose just 2.2% from one year ago.
Stocks surge on renewed trade talks – Stocks had a turbulent week. They dropped early in the week as fears that a currency and economic collapse in Turkey could spread to other countries within the region, but surged Thursday and Friday as trade negotiations with China, Mexico, and Canada were reported. Investors are also very optimistic as the second quarter earnings season comes to a close. Most companies reported double digit percent increases in profits. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 25,669.33, up from 25,313.14 last week. It is up 3.8% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,850.13, up from 2,833.25 last week. It’s up 6.6% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 7,816.33, downfrom 7,839.12 last week. It’s up 13.2% year-to-date.
Treasury Bond Yields unchanged – The 10-year Treasury bond closed the week yielding 2.87%, unchanged from 2.87% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 3.03%, unchanged from 3.03% last week.
Mortgage rates slightly lower for the week – The August 16, 2018 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.53%, down from 4.59% last week. The 15-year fixed was 4.01% from 4.05% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.86%, down slightly from 3.90% last week.
California existing home sales slow for third straight month in July – The California Association of Realtors reported that existing single-family home sales totaled 406,920 in July on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis. That was down 0.9% from June and 3.4% below last July’s level when home sales totaled 421,460 on an annualized basis. The state-wide median price paid for a home was $591,460 in July, up 7.6% from last July. On a regional level, prices in Los Angeles County rose 5.5%, Orange County prices rose 5.6%, and Ventura County prices rose just 2.1% from July 2017. Inventory levels continued to increase. The unsold inventory index ticked up to a 3.3 month supply in July, up from 3.2% last July. A normal market has a 6 -7 month supply. Active listings increased for a fourth consecutive month after 33 months of declines, increasing 11.9% from last July.