Curious how things are trending this summer in our economic markets?  Here’s Syd to show you the way!
Stocks have losing week – Stock markets dropped in every session this week marking 7 straight days of losses. Key reasons for stocks dropping this week were:  Oil prices dropped further hitting as low as $44 per barrel, a 6 year low. One year ago oil prices were over $100 per barrel. This hit energy sector stocks hard. The dollar continued to gain strength against other currencies making American goods more expensive overseas. The strength of the dollar is broadly recognized as a force weighing on U.S. growth. On Friday, the jobs report came out for July showing 215,000 net new jobs added. This was in line with expectations. The report also showed wages rose in July about 0.2% after falling in June. With strong job gains, and the unemployment rate down to 5.3% investors are convinced that the Fed will raise interest rates in September. It will be the first interest rate  rise since 2006. This also is weighing on the markets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 17,373.38, down from last week’s close of 17,689.96   The S&P 500 closed the week at   2,077.57, down from last Friday’s close of 2,103.84. The NASDAQ closed the week at 5,043.54,  down from last week’s close of 5,128.28.30 year fixed mortgage rates below 4% for second week  –  The 30 year fixed rates ended the week around 3.875% for loans up to $417,000, and around 4.00% for loans over $417,000.  The 15 year fixed rate loans are about 3.125% for loans up to $417,000, higher loan amounts have rates that are around 3.375%. The 5 Year-ARM rate is around 3.00% and 1 Year-ARM mortgages are around 2.50%.

Treasury Bond yields stable this week – The 10 year Treasury bond yield closed week at 2.18%, the same as it was last Friday.  The 30 year treasury bond yield closed Friday at 2.83%, down from last week’s close of 2.91%.  It is widely felt that with low inflation a Fed rate hike won’t heavily affect the longer term bond rates, especially with such a strong dollar.

U.S. Employers add 215,000 jobs in July  – unemployment rate remains at 5.3% –  The Labor Department reported that US employers added 215,000 net non-farm new jobs in July.  Every sector showed modest job growth gains with the exception of the energy sector which lost 4,000 jobs in July. The energy sector has lost 75,000 jobs so far in 2015 due to falling oil prices. Average hourly wages were up 5 cents an hour to $25.99. This was good news after a 1 cent per hour drop in June. Weak wage growth has been a drag on the economy. Last week The Labor Department reported that wage growth in the second quarter of 2015 was the slowest pace of wage growth in a quarter since 1982. Fortunately, the third quarter appears to be starting off with a better pace.

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