Stocks up over 2% this week – Stock markets gained more than 2% this week. Strong first quarter earnings and a reduced fear of new tariffs sparked a rally this week. Corporate earnings reported for Q1 2018 have been the strongest since the third quarter of 2010. A cessation of talk of imposing tariffs on imported goods and materials has investors feeling that the Trump administration has backed off on those. Fears of a trade war with China caused a sharp sell off in February and March. Oil prices hit a 3 1/2 year high this week. Rising oil prices have helped energy stocks, but have increased prices at the pump. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 24,831.17, up from last week’s close of 24,262.52. It is up 0.5% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,727.72, up from 2,663.42 last week. It’s up 2% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed at 7,402.88, up from 7,209.62% last week. It is up 7.2% year-to-date.
Treasury Bond yields slightly lower this week – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 2.94%, almost unchanged from 2.95% last week.The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 3.10%, slightly down from 3.12% last week.
Mortgage Rates unchanged this week – The May 10, 2018 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.55%, unchanged from last week’s 4.55%. The 15-year fixed was 4.01%, almost unchanged from 4.03% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.77%, up from 3.69% last week. Rates were slightly lower on Friday, so next week’s rates could be slightly lower.