Economic Update For The Week Ending March 2, 2019
Stocks ended the week slightly higher - Gains in January and February marked the best two month start of a year since 1987 - This week the March 1 deadline for a deal with China on trade was officially extended as both sides announced that progress has been made. The fourth quarter GDP, the broadest measure of economic output, came in at 2.6%. It was feared in the fourth quarter of 2018 that tariffs, slowing economies overseas, and higher interest rates were slowing the economy. While 2.6% did represent a slowing in the economy, it was slightly higher than what analysts expected. For the full year, GDP rose 2.9%. For some reason treasury bond Investors pulled back on purchases and yields rose about .10% this week. That will cause mortgage rates to rise about 1/8%-1/4% after almost three months of steadily dropping.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 26,026.32, unchanged from 26,031.81 last week. It’s up 11.6% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,803.69, up 0.4% from 2,792.67 last week. It is up 11.8% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 7,595.35, up 0.9% from 7,527.54 last week. The NASDAQ is up 14.5% year to date.
Treasury Bond Yields up sharply this week - The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 2.76%, up sharply from 2.65% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 3.13%, up from 3.02% last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates follow bond yields.
30-year mortgage rate at lowest level in one year, but rates rose at the end of the week - The February 28, 2019 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.35%, unchanged from 4.35% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.77% almost unchanged from 3.81% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.84%, unchanged from 3.84% last week. Rates rose late in the week. Next weeks rates will be higher.
February employment numbers will be released next Friday. They will be included in next weeks report!