Economic update for the week ending May 4, 2019
U.S. Employers add 263,000 new jobs in April - Unemployment rate at lowest level since 1969 - The Labor Department reported that 263,000 new jobs were added in April. That crushed experts expectations of 190,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate dropped from 3.8% in March to 3.6% in April, the lowest unemployment rate since 1969. Average hourly wages were up a healthy 3.2% from 12 months ago.
Stocks almost unchanged this week - The NASDAQ and S&P 500 both set all time highs this week. The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged at their FOMC Meeting on Thursday citing that inflation is under control even though growth is strong. Lower rates have been a key development in the upswing in the stock markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 26,504.95, down 0.1% from 26,543.33 last week. It’s up 13.6% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,945.64, up 0.2% from 2,948.88 last week. It is up 17.5% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 8,164.00, up 0.2% from 8,146.40 last week. The NASDAQ is up 23.0% year to date.
Treasury Bond Yields stable this week - The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 2.54% unchanged from 2.51% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.93%, unchanged from 2.92% last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates follow bond yield yields.
Mortgage rates lower this week - The May 2, 2019 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.14%, down from 4.20% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.60%, down slightly from 3.64% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.68%, down from 3.77% last week.