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Economic update for the week ending January 21, 2023

Stock markets finished the week lower – After a strong first two weeks of the year, stocks sold off this week because data released pointed to some weakening in the economy. On Friday, stock markets rallied from their lows of the week as investors felt stocks had oversold earlier in the week. Technology stocks have had a strong three weeks. Investors feel that the significant amount of layoffs will help to return the sector to profitability. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 33,375.49, down 2.3% from 34,302.61 last week. It is up 0.7% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 3,972.61, down 0.7% from 3,999.09 last week. It is up 3.5% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 11,140.44 almost unchanged from 11,079.16 last week. It is up 6.4% year-to-date.

U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 3.48% almost unchanged from 3.49% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 3.66%, up from 3.61% last week. We watch bond yields because mortgage rates follow bond yields.

Mortgage rates – The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as of January 19, 2023, were as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.15%, down from 6.33% last week. The 15-year fixed was 5.28%, down from 5.52% last week. The survey is done early in the week. By Friday, the 30-year had dropped under 6%.
California existing-home sales – The California Association of Realtors reported that existing-home sales totaled 237,740, on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis in December, down 13.2% month-over-month from November, and down 47.7% year-over-year from December 2021, when 454,450 homes sold on an annualized basis. The statewide median price paid for a home in December was $777,500, down 3% from $801,190 in November and down 0.6% from $782,480 in December 2021. There was a 3.3-month supply of homes for sale in December, up from a 1.5-month supply one year ago.


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