Stocks close the week higher - Despite dropping sharply on Friday, stocks closed the week and the month higher. Stock markets hit record highs for the 26th time this year before dropping on Friday. Optimism on an impending trade deal with China has pushed stocks higher over the last eight weeks. Stocks dropped Friday after President Trump signed a bill supporting pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. It was widely speculated that he would veto the bill in fears that it would antagonize China and harm the trade deal negotiations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 28,051.41, up 0.6% from 27,875.62 last week. It is up 10.3% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 3,140.98, up 1.0% from 3,110.29 last week. It is up 25.3% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 8,665.47, up 1.7% from 8,519.88 last week. The NASDAQ is up 30.5% year to date.
U.S. treasury bond yields unchanged this week - The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 1.78%, unchanged from 1.77% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.21%, unchanged from 2.22% last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates often follow bond yields.
Mortgage rates remain near historic lows - The November 27, 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 3.68%, unchanged from 3.66% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.15%, unchanged from 3.15% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.43%, slightly up from 3.39% last week.
California October 2019 existing home sales report - The California Association of Realtors reported that existing single-family home sales totaled 402,240 on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis in October. That was 1.9% higher than last October. The statewide median price was $605,280, up 6.0% from October 2018. The unsold inventory index stood at a 3 month supply of homes for sale, down from a 3.6 month supply one year ago. Inventory levels have shrunk to the 2017 record low levels. On a regional basis: Los Angeles County home existing home sales were up 2.8%, and the median price was up 5.4% from October 2018. Orange County existing home sales were up 12.9%, and the median price was up 1.2% from last October. Ventura County existing home sales were up 14.5%, and the median price was up 1.5% from October 2018.
Nationwide home sales and prices rose in October - The National Association of Realtors reported that total existing home sales in October increased 4.6% from the number of homes sold last October. The median price paid for a home in the U.S. also increased 6.2% from one year ago. That marked the 92nd straight month of year over year increases in the median price. Inventory levels were lower than one year ago. There was a 3.9 month supply of homes for sale in October, down from a 4.1 month supply in October 2108.