Stocks are up! Whoo hoo!  What else is going on in the financial markets?  Well… here’s Syd Leibovitch’s weekly breakdown to make your life more informed.

After fourth straight week of gains stocks have made up most of the losses from their August  and September slide – Higher then expected third quarter corporate earnings showed that slowing in Asia and Europe, a strong dollar, and low oil prices have not led to slowing in the U.S. which would have affected corporate profits. NAR also reported that real estate sales rebounded in September after slumping in August. China’s central bank, The People’s Bank of China, announced another 1/4% drop in its key 1 year rate, its sixth rate cut since last November, to spur growth. This was a surprise move as their 3rd quarter GDP beat analysts expectations, yet was slightly below the People’s Bank’s target rate.  The European Central Bank also announced that it would extend its monetary easing program to further stimulate the economy.  These moves were both well received by investors.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 17,646.70, up from last week’s close of 17,215.97. The S&P 500 closed the week at  2,075.15, up 2.1% from last Friday’s close of 2,033.13. The NASDAQ closed the week at 5,031.86, up 3% from last week’s close of 4,886.69.Treasury bonds yields drop this week – The 10 year Treasury bond yield closed the week at2.09% slightly up from 2.04% last Friday.  The 30 year treasury bond yield closed Friday at 2.90%, almost the same as last week’s close of 2.87%.

Mortgage rates unchanged this week –  They remain at lows of the year –  The 30 year fixed rates are around 3.75% 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%.

U.S. existing home sales rebound in September – The National Association of Realtorsreported that home sales for existing homes which includes resale single-family, condominiums, town homes, and co-ops increased 4.7% in September from August. On an annual rate the number of sales are up 8.8% for the 12 months ending September compared the same period ending September 2014.  The median price was up 6.1% nationwide in September from September 2014, marking the 43rd consecutive month of year over year price increases. This was welcome news for the real estate market as experts were rattled by an unexpected decline in sales in in August. In the Western U.S. the number of  September sales increased 6.7% in September and increased 9.5% from the number of sales one year ago. The median price was also 8% above last year’s levels.

Southern California home prices dip slightly in September – CoreLogic/DataQuick reported that the median price paid for a home in Southern California fell 0.7% in September from August. September sales prices were 6.1% above September 2014.

Have a great weekend!
Syd Leibovitch ​


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