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U.S. economy adds 224,000 new jobs in June

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 224,000 new jobs were created in June. That eclipsed analysts’ expectations of 162,000 new jobs. It marked a dramatic rebound from the disappointing 75,000 new jobs added in May. 

The unemployment rate inched up to 3.7% from 3.6% in May, which was a 50-year low. The report also showed that 335,000 people entered the labor force in June, which marked a substantial increase, as workers are feeling more positive about their job and wage prospects. This accounted for the slight increase in the unemployment rate. Average hourly wages were up 3.1% from one year ago. 

Stock markets finished the week near all-time highs

Stocks finished the week close to record-high levels as investors felt trade talks will resume with China and interest rates hover near two-year lows. Friday’s strong jobs report was considered a mixed bag to investors. While certainly a strong report, the flip side is that it gives The Fed a strong argument not to lower its benchmark rates. The Fed floated the possibility of a rate drop in May. Since then, stocks have finished higher in 4 out of the last 5 weeks, and major indexes have gained over 8%. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 26,922.12, up 1.2% from 26,599.96 last week. It’s up 15.4% year-to-date. 

The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,990.41, up 1.7% from 2,941.76 last week. It’s up 19.3% year-to-date. 

The NASDAQ closed the week at 8,161.79, up 1.9% from 8,006.24 last week. The NASDAQ is up 23.0% year-to-date. 

Treasury Bond Yields

The 10-year treasury bond closed the month yielding 2.04%, almost unchanged from 2.00% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.54%, basically unchanged from 2.52% last week. 

Mortgage rates remain at two-year lows

The July 3, 2019, Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey showed mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 3.75%, almost unchanged from 3.73% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.18%, just about unchanged from 3.16% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.45%, up slightly from 3.39% last week.

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