Economic update for the week ending November 24, 2018
Stocks dropped into negative territory for the year - Stocks had another losing week. Technology stocks which have been under pressure continued to decline. Oil prices dropped for the seventh straight week which hurt energy stocks. Retailers are anticipating disappointing earnings for the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 24,285.95, down from 24,413.22 last week. It is down 1.8% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,632.56, down from 2,736.27 last week. It’s down 1.5% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 6,938.96, down from 7,147.87 last week. It’s up 0.5% year to date.
Treasury Bond Yields slightly lower this week - The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 3.05%, down slightly from 3.08% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 3.31% down slightly from 3.33% last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates follow bond yields.
Mortgage rates lower this week - The November 21, 2018 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.81%, down from 4.94% last week. The 15-year fixed was 4.24%, down from 4.36% last week. The 5-year ARM was 4.09%, down from 4.14% last week. I’d expect to see rates a little lower in next week’s survey, as rates dropped late in the week.
Nationwide existing home sales totals rebound in October - The National Association of Realtors reported that existing-home sales which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 1.4% from September to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.22 million in October. Sales are down 5.1% from a year ago (5.5 million in October 2017). The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was up 3.8% from October 2017.October’s price increase marks the 80th straight month of year-over-year gains. Housing inventory increase from 1.80 million a year ago to 1.85 million in October. Unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply, up from 3.9 months a year ago.