Economic update for the week ending March 17, 2018
Crude Oil $62.25 - Gold $1,313.90 - Silver $16.34 - EUR/USD $1.23
Stocks down in another volatile week - Uncertainty led to another volatile week in U.S. stock markets. Volatility has caused the S&P 500 to lose or gain 1% or more in 9 out of the first 11 weeks of 2018. In comparison, the S&P 500 lost or gained 1% or more in just 13 weeks in all of 2017. Along with political uncertainty, fears of consequences from tariffs, and possible retaliation from other countries against our exports led to the drops this week. Boeing's stock dropped nearly 10% this week based on increased steel and aluminum costs, and a possibility of tariffs being place on Boeing jets by other governments. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 24,946.51, down from last week’s close of 25,335.74. It is up 0.9% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,752.01, down from 2,786.57 last week. It's up 2.9% year to date. The NASDAQ closed at 7,484.99, down from 7,596.81 last week. It is up 8.4% year to date.
Treasury Bond Yields - Bond yields lower this week. The 10 year Treasury bond closed the week yielding 2.85%, down from 2.90% last week. The 30 year Treasury bond yield ended the week at 3.08%, down from 3.16% last week. We watch bond rates because mortgage rates follow bond rates.
Mortgage Rates slightly lower this week - The March 15, 2018 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30 year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.44%, down slightly from last week’s 4.46%. The 15 year fixed was 3.90%, down from 3.94% last week. The 5 year ARM was 3.67%, up from 3.63% last week.
13 Things to do before moving into a new home - Welcome to the ultimate moving checklist. A list of all the things you should do before moving into your new home. Let's face it. With all the excitement of new digs, it's easy to forget some important tasks. Plus, certain things are best done while the house is still vacant, long before your boxes and furniture are parked in the place. Put these things off, and it becomes all the harder to tackle them later. So before you move, or in case you have moved and are wondering how many of these you hit, check out this moving checklist to know what should be done long before you settle in.
Next week - Next week's report will include both housing sales data for February, and the results of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting, where it is expecting that The Fed will increase short term interest rates. Stay tuned!
Quote of the week
Tact is the ability to describe others
as they see themselves.