Stock markets higher for the week - Strong third quarter corporate earnings, and a softening of rhetoric on trade and tariffs encouraged investors this week. Stocks have risen for three straight weeks and major U.S. stock market indexes are just below all time highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 26,958.06, up 0.7% from 26,770.20 last week. It is up 15.6% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 3,022.55, up 1.2% from 2,986.20 last week. It is up 20.6% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 8,243.12, up 1.9%, from 8,069.54 last week. The NASDAQ is up 24.2% year to date.
U.S. treasury bond yields - The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 1.80%, up slightly from 1.76% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.29%, up slightly from 2.25% last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates often follow bond yields.
Mortgage rates higher this week - The October 24, 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 3.18%, up slightly from 3.15% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.40%, almost unchanged from 3.35% last week.
Nationwide existing home sales report - The National Association of Realtors reported that total existing home sales rose 3.9% year over year from the number of homes sold last September. The nationwide median price in September was 5.9% higher than it was in September 2018. That marked the 91st straight month of year over year increases in the median price.