Stock markets close at new record highs again this week - Investors were encouraged by a number of reports and developments this week. President Trump signed a long awaited phase one trade deal with China. Holiday retail sales were expected to be strong, and cane in even stronger than expected. U.S. Banks were among the first to report fourth quarter profits and profits were higher than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 29.348.10, up 1.8% from 28,823.77 last week. It’s up 2.8% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 3,329.62, up 2.0% from 3,265.35 last week. It’s up 3.1% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 9,388.94, up 2.3% from 9,178.86 last week. It’s up 4.6% year to date.
U.S. treasury bond yields almost unchanged this week – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 1.84%, almost unchanged from 1.83% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.29%, almost unchanged from 2.28% last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates often follow bond yields.
Mortgage rates - The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey taken on January 16, 2020 reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 3.65%, unchanged from 3.64% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.06%, unchanged from 3.07% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.39%, up from 3.30% last week.
December existing-home sales data will be released next week. Look for those numbers in next Saturday’s update.