Economic update for the week ending November 30, 2018
Stock markets posted the largest weekly gain in 2018 - Stocks ended November by soaring about 5% this week. It marked a dramatic rebound after stocks fell sharply into negative territory for the year over the last two weeks. Strong consumer spending data for Black Friday and Cyber Monday got the week started. Federal Reserve Chairman Thomas Powell's comments on Wednesday that interest rate hikes would likely end in 2019 led to one of the best single daily gains ever for stocks. It also resulted in bond yields falling. The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield fall to the lowest level in more than 10 weeks. Friday’s signing of a replacement to NAFTA by President Trump, Canada, and Mexico also lifted markets to finish the week with the highest weekly gain this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 25,538.46, up sharply from 24,285.95 last week. It was up 5.2% this week and is up 3.3% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,760.17, up from 2,632.56 last week. It was up 4.8% for the weekand is up 3.2% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 7,330.54, up from 6,938.96 last week. It was up 5.6% for the week and up 6.2% year to date.
Treasury Bond Yields slightly lower this week - The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 3.01%, down slightly from 3.05% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 3.30%, unchanged from 3.31% last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates follow bond yields.
Mortgage rates unchanged this week - The November 28, 2018 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.81%, unchanged from 4.81% last week. The 15-year fixed was 4.25% unchanged from 4.24% last week. The 5-year ARM was 4.12%, up slightly from 4.09% last week.