Stocks close the week with big gains – Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s September meeting released this week made investors feel that the Fed’s first rate rise since 2006 will not happen this year. The notes revealed that The Fed is worried about unusually low inflation, spill over from slowing in China, and unusually low wage growth. They also said that the economy was still growing. The September jobs report showed job growth around 140,000 jobs a month for the last 2 months, after averaging 212,000 new jobs monthly for the first 7 months of the year. That slowdown also caused investors to expect that The Fed will not raise rates in the next couple of months as previously expected. Higher interest rates mean higher borrowing costs which cut into corporate profits, so continued low rates were seen as positive by investors. Oil prices also rose this week on fears of Russia’s involvement in Syria. Low oil prices have hurt the energy sector, so energy stocks rose on higher oil prices. The dollar which has been strong this year and has caused U.S. goods to be more expensive overseas and overseas goods to be less expensive here in the U.S. also weakened this week. This was helpful as exports have suffered as a result of the strong dollar and slowing economies overseas. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 17,084.49, up from last week’s close of 16,472.37. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,014.89, up from last Friday’s close of 1,951.36. The NASDAQ closed the week at 4,830.47, up from last week’s close of 4,707.78.
Treasury bonds rise from last week’s lows – The 10 year Treasury bond yield closed week at 2.12%, up from 1.99% last Friday. The 30 year treasury bond yield closed Friday at 2.94%, up from last week’s close of 2.82%. Bond yields follow stocks as money moves. Often when investors sell stocks on fears in the stock market they buy bonds which are safe but offer a low return. This week they bought stocks and sold bonds which drove bond yields higher.
Mortgage rates rise from last week’s lows of the year – The 30 year fixed rates are around 3..875% for loans up to $417,000, and around 4.00% for loans over $417,000. The 15 year fixed rate loans are about 3.20% for loans up to $417,000, higher loan amounts have rates that are around 3.375%. 5-Year-ARM and 3–Year ARM rates are both around 3.00%.
September sales data will be released later in the month. It will be interesting to see how prices and sales numbers are holding up. Stay tuned!
Have a great weekend!
Stocks rally on Friday to end the week just slightly down – The stock markets have been volatile for the last six weeks mostly due to worries about the effects from slowing growth in China, European weakness, and and uncertainty about the outlook for interest rates. Early in the week markets dropped as more data came in showing China’s economy has continued to slow. One report Wednesday showed that their manufacturing had slowed to the lowest level in 6 years, during the peak of the financial crisis. However; stocks made up much of their loses on Friday after the Commerce Department reported that 2nd quarter GDP had been revised upward, consumer spending was revised upward, and Fed Chairperson Janet Yellen gave a more optimistic view of the economy. Her assessment included that The Fed does still intent to raise rates this year. Uncertainty over rates, and The Fed’s decision last week to leave rates at near zero levels, made experts fear that The Fed felt the economy was weaker than experts believe. Janet Yellen’s speech at the University of Massachusetts yesterday seemed to put investors’ minds at ease when she reiterated that growth was strong and that a rate increase was coming. US airlines also reported that profits were up 53% in the second quarter mostly due to lower fuel prices and steady travel demand. It is the best year for the airlines since 2007. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 16,314.67, almost unchanged from last week’s close of 16,384.79. The S&P 500 closed the week at 1,931.34, down slightly from last Friday’s close of 1,958.03. The NASDAQ closed the week at 4,686.50, down from last week’s close of 4,827.23.
Mortgage rates just under 4% – The 30 year fixed rates ended the week around 3.875% for loans up to $417,000, and around 4.00% for loans over $417,000. The 15 year fixed rate loans are about 3.25% for loans up to $417,000, and around 3.375% for loans over $417,000. The 5 Year-ARM rate is around 3.00% and 1 Year-ARM mortgages are about 2.50%.
Primary Mortgage Market Survey®
Freddie Mac surveys lenders each week on the rates, fees and points for the most popular mortgage products.
|September 24, 2015||30-Yr FRM||15-Yr FRM||5/1-Yr ARM|
|Average Rate||3.86 %||3.08 %||2.91 %|
Next Rate Update on October 1, 2015
Freddie Mac Multi-Indicator Market Index®
MiMi measures the stability of local housing activity by combining current local market data with Freddie Mac data for all states, the top 100 metros, and the nation.
Treasury Bond yields slightly lower this week – The 10 year Treasury bond yield closed week at 2.17%, up slightly from 2.13% last Friday. The 30 year treasury bond yield closed Friday at 2.96%, almost unchanged from last week’s close of 2.93%. Mortgage rates follow bond yields so these are closely watched.
Consumer confidence reading the edges up in September- The University of Michigan final reading on consumer sentiment for September moved higher.It ended the month at a reading of 87.2 from an initial reading of 85.7 at the beginning of the month. The average reading since its inception has been 85.3. The average reading during the 5 recessions since its inception has been 69.3. During non-recessionary years the average reading has been 87.5, which is right about where we are. Consumer sentiment is important because consumer confidence is so closely tied to consumer spending which accounts for nearly a third of the economy.
Second quarter GDP revised upward – The Commerce Department said Fridaythat the second quarter gross domestic product showed a growth rate of 3.9%. This was higher than their initial estimate of 3.7%. The Commerce Department also said Friday that consumer spending rose 3.6% during the quarter up from an initial estimate of 3.1%.
Pending home sales decline in August, but numbers are still above last year’s levels – The California Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales fall 8.7% in August from July. While monthly pending home sales were down, year over year pending home sales in August were still up 12.8% from August 2014. It was the 10th straight month of year over year increases in the number of pending sales, and the 7th straight month of double-digit year-to-year gains.
Economic update for the week ending September 5, 2015
Economy adds 173,000 net new jobs in August- The Labor Department Reported that the economy added 173,000 new non-farm jobs in August. This was below the 220,000 jobs expected. The unemployment fell to 5.1%, its lowest level in 7 years. That is down from 5.3% last month and has dropped nearly in half since peaking during the recession. The most positive part of the report was that wages, that have been stagnant, rose 8 cents an hour in August following a 6 cent an hour rise in average wages in July. This was welcome news after June’s number showed that the April, May, June quarter had the lowest wage growth in over 30 years. August’s figure shows wage growth of 2.2% over the last 12 months, which is well over the inflation rate.
Stocks down again this week – Fears of China’s slowdown and a possible interest rate hike by the Fed spooked the markets. More bad economic data from China showed their economy slipping further. At the same time U.S. G.D.P. rose 3.7%, which was better than expected. The August jobs number showed fewer new jobs than expected, yet the unemployment rate fell to near pre-recession levels, and wages, which have been stagnant, rose more than expected. Auto sales were strong, another sign that U.S. consumers are spending money. The Federal Reserve Beige Book, the Fed’s assessment of the strength of the economy, showed that they felt that the economy was growing at a “modest to moderate pace” and that the Chinese slowdown is havering a “only a moderate affect on the U.S. economy.” This again got investors fearing an interest rate hike by the Fed. Some fear that the first rate hike since 2006 could happen as soon as it’s September 16th – 17th meeting. This was also a drag on stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 16,102.38, down from last week’s close of 16,643.01. The S&P 500 closed the week at 1,921.22, down from last Friday’s close of 1,988.87. The NASDAQ closed the week at 4,683.92, down from last week’s close of 4,828.33.
Mortgage rates remain near lows for the year – The 30 year fixed rates ended the week around 3.875% for loans up to $417,000, and around 4.00% for loans over $417,000. The 15 year fixed rate loans are about 3.25% for loans up to $417,000, higher loan amounts have rates that are around 3.375%. The 5 Year-ARM rate is around 2.75% and 1 Year-ARM mortgages are about 2.50%.
Treasury Bond yields rose from lows early in the week and closed higher than last week – Investors bought stocks and pulled money from the safety of U.S Treasury Bonds pushing yields up from Monday’s lowest point in over a year. The 10 year Treasury bond yield closed week at 2.13%, almost unchanged from 2.19% last Friday. The 5 year was under 2% at one point on Monday. The 30 year treasury bond yield closed Friday at 2.89%, down slightly from last week’s close of 2.92%.
U.S. Bank’s earnings rise – The FDIC reported that profits from U.S. Banks rose 7.3% in the second quarter of 2015. The number of “problem banks” continued to fall. Only 5.6% of all banks were not profitable. This was by far the most healthy banks have been since the financial crisis which began in 2007.
Factory orders higher – Orders from U.S. Factories posted a modest gain in July according to The Commerce Department. Factory orders were up 0.4% in July. This was not as good as June’s 2.2% increase, but it did build on that increase.
Have a great holiday weekend!
This week marked more good economic news. Real Estate related news began Tuesday when NAR reported March resale number of homes under contract rose 7% from March 2012. Case-Shiller, by far the most conservative on real estate, reported a year over year price increase for LA of 14.1% in their 20 major city report for February. I dont really know what this means as they don’t state median (half are more, half are less), or average price. Its some formula they have for most homes and neighborhoods. Keep in mind the median was up 24% during that period! Based on what I am seeing 14% is low!
Stocks soared today after a much stronger than expected jobs report. The economy added 165,000 nonfarm payroll jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 7.5%, a 4 year low. The DOW and S&P are on track to end the week up almost 2% and the NASDEQ up 3.3%. Finally, this is starting to shape up as what a recovery looks like! Stocks also were up with the S&P500 ending the month of April at a record high. The major markets finished April with the DOW up 13.3, NASDEQ up 10.2% and S&P up 12% for the year. This run up has been a result of higher than expected earnings, dropping unemployment, robust home sales, rising home prices, dramatically fewer foreclosures, and rising consumer confidence.
As the economy improves, demand for loans increases, and interest rates rise. Rising rates, in turn, drive down the price of bonds. The yield hit 1.75% today as investors jumped into stocks and out of bonds. Minutes from the Federal Reserve meeting last month indicated that policymakers seemed headed to winding down their bond purchasing before a weak March jobs report took them by surprise. They will continue purchases of Treasury’s and agency mortgage backed securities until the outlook for the labor market has improved. If the outlook for labor market conditions improve as anticipated, the Fed will then decrease purchases of massive bond buying in the year and stop them by year-end. If the Fed does in fact try to pull-out and exit the $85 billion bond buying program because the program has either been deemed a success or has become ineffective, it is possible the Fed will face many unintended consequences.
The latest GDP report confirmed that the housing sector has become an important contributor to the economic recovery. Residential fixed investment added to overall economic growth over the past eight consecutive quarters and contributed more than 0.3 percentage points in growth over the first three months of this year. Moreover, near record low mortgage rates should further drive the housing market recovery over the near term.
This week rates are falling for all types of mortgages, and the average 15-year fixed loan has hit an all-time low of 2.56%, for a second straight week, dropping from 2.61%, both better than the previous low mark of 2.63% set in November. A year ago the 15-year rate stood at 3.07%. The 30-year fixed has now dropped for a fifth straight week to 3.35%, from 3.40% a week ago. After rising as high as 3.63% in March, the rate is again homing in on the 3.31% all-time low seen last November. A year ago the same rate averaged 3.84%.
The five-year ARM sank to 2.56% with an average 0.5 point. It was down from 2.58% a week ago. The one-year ARM dropped to 2.56% with an average 0.3 point. It was down from 2.62% a week ago. This week marked the first time in history the 15-year fixed, five-year ARM and one-year ARM all averaged the same percentage. This week mortgage applications showed a slight uptick and the refinance share of mortgage activity remained unchanged, accounting for 75% of total applications.
Have a great weekend! (AND, open 2-5 every Sunday until its sold is 9007 Larke Ellen in Beverlywood. See http://www.9007LarkeEllen.com for all information and photos)