Economic update dated April 3, 2021

by Marc Tahler

Happy April…

U.S. employers added 916,000 jobs in March – The Department of Labor and Statics reported that 916,000 net new jobs were added in March. That number exceeded Dow Jones analysts’ expectations of 675,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate declined to 6% in March, down from 6.2%, in February.

Stocks up again this week – The S&P broke 4,000 for the first time in history – This week’s financial news moved all markets higher. Consumer confidence hit the highest point since the start of the pandemic. Job growth has picked up at a robust rate with almost one million new jobs added in March. Investors feel that because of the trillions of dollars in stimulus, and a potential $2 trillion infrastructure plan, the economy will remain on a trajectory of recovery from the harsh effects of the pandemic. The speed of the rate of vaccinations has also allowed much of the country to relax restrictions, adding to business optimism. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 33,153.21, up 0.2% from 33,072.88 last week. It is up 8.3% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 4,019.87, up 1.1% from 3,974.10 last week. It is up 6.9% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 13,480.10, up 2.6% from 13,138.72last week. It is up 4.6% year-to-date.

U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 1.72%, up from 1.67% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.35%, down from 2.37% last week. We watch bond yields because mortgage rates often follow treasury bond yields.

Mortgage rates – The April 01, 2021, Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.18%, almost unchanged from 3.17% last week. The 15-year fixed was 2.45%, almost unchanged from 2.44% last week. The 5-year ARM was 2.84%, unchanged from 2.84% last week. Rates dropped later in the week.

Published on 2021-04-03 09:50:06