Economic update for the week ending August 28, 2021

by Marc Tahler

Stock markets closed the week at new record highs – Stock market indexes have hit record highs over 50 times in 2021. Despite a rise in coronavirus cases, turmoil overseas, a slip in retail sales, and talk of some tightening by the Federal Reserve, economic data has remained mostly strong. Experts feel that the economy is still expanding as the country continues to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, despite setbacks due to the Delta Variant. They also feel that job gains will continue to be strong. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 35,455.80, up 1% from 35,120.08 last week. It is up 15.8% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 4,509.37, up 1.5% from 4,441.67 last week. It is up 20% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 15,129.50, up 2% from 14,822.90 last week. It is up 17% year-to-date.

U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 1.31%, up from 1.26% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 1.91%, up from 1.87% last week. We watch bond yields because mortgage rates often follow treasury bond yields.

Mortgage rates – The August 26, 2021, Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.87%, unchanged from 2.86% last week. The 15-year fixed was 2.17%, unchanged from 2.16% last week. The 5-year ARM was 2.42%, unchanged from 2.43% last week.

U.S Existing-home sales increased 2% month-over-month in July – The National Association of Realtors reported that the number of existing-home sales increased 2% in July from the number of homes sold in June. Year-over-year home sales increased 1.5% from the number of homes sold last July. The median price paid for a home in the U.S. in July was $359,900, up 17.8% from last July’s median price of $305,600. July marked the 113th straight month of year-over-year increases in the median price. The unsold inventory level is at a 2.6-month supply of homes for sale, down from a 3.1-month supply one year ago. First time buyers accounted for 30% of all purchases. Second-home and investor purchases accounted for 15% of all homes sold. Foreclosures and short sales accounted for less than 1% of all homes sold. All cash purchases accounted for 23% of all transactions.

Published on 2021-08-28 09:29:14