Stocks drop slightly in the final week of September – Stock markets fell slightly this week after hitting record highs last week. Escalating trade tensions with China and another interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve left investors a little more cautious this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 26,458.31, down from 26,743.50 last week. It is up 7% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,913.98, down from 2,929.67 last week. It’s up 9% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 8,046.35, up from 7,986.96 last week. It’s up 16% year-to-date.
Treasury Bond Yields slightly lower – The 10-year Treasury bond closed the week yielding 3.05%, down slightly from 3.07% last week. The 30-year Treasury bond yield ended the week at 3.19%, almost unchanged from 3.20% last week. We watch Treasury bond yields because mortgage rates follow bond yields.
Mortgage rates higher this week – The September 27, 2018 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.72%, up from 4.65% last week. The 15-year fixed was 4.16%, up from 4.11% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.97%, up from 3.93% last week.
Consumer Confidence at highest level hits 18-year high in September – The U.S. Consumer Confidence Index hit its highest level since 2000 this week, according to data from the Conference Board’s September survey.
New home sales rebound in August – The Commerce Department reported that sales of new homes increased 3.6% in August from July on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. Year-over-year the number of new homes sold in August increased 12.7% from August 2017. The median price paid for a new home increased 1.9% from one year ago.