Stock markets closed the week higher – The Dow snapped a four-week losing streak and bond yields retreated from their highs of the week after minutes from the Federal Reserve published a semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress on Thursday. Those comments and comments from other Fed officials lead investors to believe that the next rate-hike will be a ¼% hike not a ½%. Stock markets rallied and all indexes ended the week higher. All eyes are on the February jobs report. It will be released next Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 33,390.97, up 1.7% from 32,816.92 last week. It is up 0.1% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 4,045.64, up 1.9% from 3,970.04 last week. It is up 5.4% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 11,689.01, up 2.6% from 11,394.94 last week. It is up 11.7% year-to-date.
U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 3.97% up from 3.93% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 3.90%, down slightly from 3.94% 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 March 2, 2023, were as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.65%, up from 6.50% last week. The 15-year fixed was 5.89%, up from 5.76% last week