Stocks slightly higher after turbulent week – Stocks markets exhibited huge swings this week. Thursday markets plunged over one percent as investors feared that thespike in new COVID Delta variant cases would slow the progress of the world returning to normalcy after the pandemic. A decision by Japan not to allow fans at the summer Olympics was also announced Thursday. Economic data released Thursday suggesting that shortages in supplies and labor could be slowing the international economy. Also on Thursday the U.S. new unemployment claims rose to 373,000 which was higher than expected. On Friday markets rose over one percent after early second quarter corporate earnings began to be released. Companies had record profits in the second quarter of 2021. By days end many companies and experts conceded that those earnings were compared to one year ago when sales were anemic due to the pandemic. Compared to the second quarter of 2019, 2021 figures were still strong but nowhere near the year-over-year gains when compared to profit levels at the worst time of the pandemic. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 34,870.16, up 0.2% from 34,786.35 last week. It is up 13.7% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 4,369.55, up 0.4% from 4,353.54 last week. It is up 16.2% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 14,701.92, up 0.4%, from 14,639.33 last week. It is up 14.0% year-to-date.
U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 1.37%, down from 1.44% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 1.99%, down from 2.06% last week. We watch bond yields because mortgage rates often follow treasury bond yields.
Mortgage rates – The July 8, 2021, Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.90%, down from 2.98% last week. The 15-year fixed was 2.20%, down from 2.26% last week. The 5-year ARM was 2.52%, unchanged from 2.53% last week.