Economic update for the week ending September 26, 2020
Stocks were down for a seventh straight week - The Dow and S&P closed lower again this week. Major contributors to the drop in stocks this week were: New Coronavirus cases increased both in the U.S. and Europe. Hopes of a new round of stimulus once thought to be done deal has faded. It is feared that no stimulus package will be approved before the election. Trade tensions with China appear to be escalating. First time unemployment claims increased unexpectedly last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 27,173.96, down 1.7% from 27,657.42 last week. It’s down 4.8% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 3,298.96, down 0.6% from 3,319.47 last week. It’s up 2.1% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 10,913.56, up 1.1% from 10,893.28 last week. It’s up 21.6% year-to-date.
U.S. Treasury bond yields - The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 0.66%, down slightly from 0.70% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 1.40% down from 1.45% last week.
Mortgage rates – The September 24, 2020, Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 2.90%, unchanged from 2.87% last week. The 15-year fixed was 2.40%, unchanged from 2.37% last week. The 5-year ARM was 2.90%, down from 2.96% last week.
U.S. existing-home sales and prices soared in August - The National Association of Realtors reported that U.S. existing-home sales hit 6 million in August on a seasonally adjusted yearly basis. The number of homes sold in August was 10.5% higher than August 2019. That marked the highest number of homes sold in a month since December 2006. Prices also surged. Nationally the median price paid for a home jumped 11.4% from one year ago.