Stocks up modestly for the week – After two weeks of gains stocks are near the highest levels in 2015. The Dow and S&P were up 1.7% for the week, and the NASDAQ was up 2.2% for the week. Stocks began the week with a rally ignited by last Friday’s poor jobs report. It is widely felt that the March Jobs Report’s disappointing numbers will cause the Fed to push back its first rise in short term interest rates since 2006. With the benchmark rate near zero since 2009, it’s only a matter of time until the Fed begins to raise rates. Many experts feel that the jobs report numbers will cause the Fed to wait longer than previously thought. Oil prices also rose a little this week which also was good news, as low oil prices have hurt the U.S. oil Industry. GE also rallied following their announcement that they plan to sell off their financing and lending division, GE Capital. Next week corporate earnings will be getting announced for the first quarter. Those numbers could move the market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 18,057.65, up from last week’s 17,763.24. The S&P 500 closed at 2,102.96, also up from last week’s close of 2,066.96. The NASDAQ closed at 4,995.98, up from last week’s 4,886.94.
Treasury Bond yields rise as money is pulled from bonds to invest in stocks – The 10 year Treasury bond closed the week at 1.96%, up from 1.85% last week. The 30 year treasury yield ended the week at 2.59%, also up from last week’s 2.49%.
Mortgage Rates remain stable for third week – The 30 year fixed rates are around 3.8% for loans up to $417,000 and slightly above 4.0% for loans over $417,000. 15 year fixed loans are about 3% for loans up to $417,000 and about 3.25% for higher loan amounts. The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey which comes out early in the week reported that the 30 year fixed mortgage rate average for the week was 3.66%. It was 3.70% last week. The 15 year fixed was 2.93%. It was 2.98% last week. The 5 year ARM was 2.83% and the 1 year ARM was 2.46%. Rates may rise a little next week, as they usually rise when bond yields rise, as they did at the end of the week. On the other hand, disappointing first quarter earnings results, which could very likely happen, will cause rates to fall. It’s going to be an interesting week!
New home sales jump 17% in March – The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Builder Application Survey revealed that new home purchasesincreased 17% in March from February. For the first quarter of 2015 mortgage applications for new homes were up 20% from the first quarter of 2014, according to the report.
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