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Breakdown in China trade talks causes stocks to drop

Just three weeks ago, stock markets reached all-time highs as investors felt a trade deal with China was close. Unfortunately, stocks have dropped sharply over the last three weeks, as it appears that the proposed deal has fallen through.

The U.S. and China have increased tariffs in recent weeks and ratcheted up threats of future increases. Investors fear that these increased tariffs will slow economic growth. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 25,585.69, down 0.7% from 25,764.00 last week. It’s up 9.7% year-to-date. 

The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,826.06, down 1.2% from 2,859.93 last week. It’s up 12.7% year-to-date. 

The NASDAQ closed the week at 7,637.01, down 2.3%, from 7,816.28 last week.  The NASDAQ is up 15.1% year-to-date. 

10- and 30-year treasury bond yields at lowest levels since 2017 

The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 2.32%, down from 2.39% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.75%, down from 2.82%  last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates follow bond yields. 

Mortgage rates almost unchanged this week

The May 23, 2019, Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.06%, down slightly from 4.07% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.51%, down slightly from 3.54% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.68%, slightly higher from 3.66% last week.

U.S. home prices increase for the 86th consecutive month in April

The National Association of Realtors reported that the median price paid for an existing single-family home increased 3.6% in April from April 2018. That marked the 86th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in the median price. The number of sales dropped by 4.4% in April from the number of sales last April. Inventory levels increased by 1.7% from one year ago. The unsold inventory index increased to a 4.2-month supply of housing for sale, from a 4-month supply one year ago. 

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