Stock markets soared to record their sixth straight week of gains - Investors seem confident that a limited trade deal between China and the U.S. is nearing completion. Manufacturing, which had dropped sharply on fears of reduced sales due to tariffs, has increased for the third straight month according to a key global index. All major U.S. stock market indexes closed the week at record highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 28,004.89, up 1.2% from 27,681.24 last week. It is up 20% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 3,120.85, up 0.9% from 3,093.08 last week. It is up 24.4% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 8,540.83, up 0.8% from 8,476.31 last week. The NASDAQ is up 28.6% year to date.
U.S. treasury bond yields moderated to lower levels following last week’s sharp rise - The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 1.84%, down from 1.94% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.31%, down from 2.43% last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates often follow bond yields.
Mortgage rates slightly higher this week - The November 14, 2019 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 3.75%, up from 3.69% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.20%, up from 3.13% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.44%, up from 3.39% last week.
Home prices rose in 93% of the nation’s housing markets in the third quarter of 2019 - The National Association ofRealtors reported that single family median prices increased year over year in 93% of its measured markets in the third quarter of 2019. That was up from a year over median price increase in 91% of the U.S. markets in the third quarter of 2018. The national median price paid for a home increased 5.1% in the third quarter of 2019 from the third quarter of 2018.