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Stocks have another strong week

Stock markets recovered from last week’s losses and extended one of the strongest starts of the year in history, as major indexes are up 10-16% for the year. U.S. and overseas markets surged to the highest levels since November. Low inflation data, reduced trade fears, strong economic data, and lower interest rates encouraged investors.  

The S&P 500 bull market has now entered its 10th year. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,822.48, up 2.9% from 2,743.07 last week. It is up 12.6% year-to-date. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 25,848.87, up 1.6% % from 25,450.24 last week. It’s up 10.8% year-to-date. 

The NASDAQ closed the week at 7,688.53, up 3.8% from 7,408.14 last week. The NASDAQ is up 15.9% year-to-date. 

Treasury Bond Yields almost unchanged this week

The 10-year treasury bond yield closed the week yielding 2.59%, down from 2.62% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 3.02%, almost unchanged from 3.00% last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates follow bond yields. 

Mortgage rates drop to the lowest level in one year 

The March 14, 2019, Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.31%, down from 4.41% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.76%, down from 3.83% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.84%, down slightly from 3.87% last week.  


Stock market terms defined

  • ARM – “A 5-year ARM is a loan with a fixed rate for the first five years. After that, it has an adjustable rate.” (LendingTree.com)
  • Down Jones Industrial Average – “An index that tracks 30 large, publicly-owned companies trading on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ.” (Investopedia.com)
  • Freddie Mac – (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation or FHLMC) “A government-owned corporation that buys mortgages and packages them into mortgage-backed securities.” (TheBalance.com)
  • Mortgage – “An agreement that allows you to borrow money from a bank or similar organization (such as a credit union) by offering something of value, esp. in order to buy a house or apartment” (Cambridge Dictionary)
  • NASDAQ – Acronym for the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations. “A global electronic marketplace for buying and selling securities, as well as the benchmark index for U.S. technology stocks” (Investopedia.com)
  • S&P 500 – “The S&P 500 index is a basket of 500 of the largest U.S. stocks, weighted by market capitalization. The index is widely considered to be the best indicator of how large U.S. stocks are performing on a day-to-day basis.” (Motley Fool)
  • Stock market – “The stock market is where investors buy and sell shares in public companies.” (NerdWallet.com)
  • Treasury bond yield – “Treasury yields are the total amount of money you earn by owning U.S. Treasury bills, notes, or bonds. The U.S. Treasury Department sells them to pay for the U.S. debt. … Treasury yield prices are based on supply and demand.” (The Balance.com)

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