Economic Update for the 3rd Week of June 2018

Ray Dipasupil
Ray Dipasupil
Published on June 18, 2018
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Stock markets end the week mixed – The Dow dropped about 1% this week, as the S&P held steady, and the NASDAQ rose.  The Trump administration announced $50 billion in tariffs against China yesterday, which caused markets to drop both here and overseas. The Federal Reserve increased their benchmark interest rate by 1/4% this week. That was the second increase this year and the seventh since they began increasing rates at the end of 2015. The Federal Funds Rate now stands at 1.75% – 2%, which is still near a historical low. It was lowered to 0 – .25% during the great recess which had never happened before to encourage borrowing and stimulate growth. The Fed announced that the economic outlook was strong citing unemployment near historic lows and inflation picking up in 2018, yet still near their target levels. They estimated that there would be one or two more increases in 2018, and three in 2019. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 25,090.48, down from 25,316.53 last week. It is up 1.5% year to date.  The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,779.66,  unchanged from 2,779. 03. It’s up 4% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 7,746.38, up form 7,645.51 last week.   It’s up 12.2% year to date.

Treasury Bond Yields unchanged this week 
 – The 10 year treasury bond closed the week yielding 2.93%, unchanged from 2.93% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 3.05%, down slightly from 3.08% last week. We watch bond rates because mortgage rates follow bond rates.

Mortgage Rates higher this week –  The June 14,  2018 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30 year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.62%, up from 4.54% last week. The 15 year fixed was 4.07%, up from 4.01% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.83%, up from 3.74% last week.

May housing figures should be out next week. We expect to see California housing prices increase year over year about 8% with LA County prices increasing around 10%.  The exact numbers will be in next week’s update.

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Economic Update for the 3rd Week of June 2018
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