Stock markets recovered this week – News that the Omicron COVID variant is causing more mild symptoms than previous variants has helped stocks recover from some of their steep loses suffered after the variant was first discovered. The November CPI, a key index of inflation, showed that consumer prices were up 6.8% year over year, their highest increase in 39 years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 34,970.99, up 1.3% from 34,508.08 last week. It is up 14.3% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 4,712.02, up 3.8% from 4,538.43 last week. It is up 24.6% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 15,630.60, up 3.6% from 15,085.47 last week. It is up 20.7% year-to-date.
U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 1.48% up from 1.35% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 1.86%, up from 1.69% last week. Bond yields dropped sharply on fears of the new Omicron variant. They have risen from those steep drops but are still lower than they were two weeks ago. We watch bond yields because mortgage rates often follow treasury bond yields.
Mortgage rates – The December 9, 2021, Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.10%, unchanged from 3.11% last week. The 15-year fixed was 2.38% unchanged from 2.39% last week. The 5-year ARM was 2.45%, almost unchanged from 2.49% last week.
The November home sales reports will be released by the California Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors next week.