You heard the rumor going around about butter? Never mind, I shouldn't spread it.
NATIONAL MARKET UPDATE
Continuing the upward trend that began in January, Existing Home Sales climbed 2.5% in July, to a 5.420 million annual rate. The recovery has now taken year-over-year sales into positive space, up 0.6%, for the first time in 17 months.
July New Home Sales fell 12.8%, but mostly because June sales were revised up to a post-recession high 728,000, the 20% monthly gain the largest since 1992! Plus, July's number is still 4.3% higher than last year.
Freddie Mac's chief economist noted that thanks to the drop in rates, "home purchase demand is up five percent from a year ago...while refinances surged to their highest share in three and a half years."
REVIEW OF LAST WEEK
TRADE TENSIONS TRIP TRADERS... Friday, China unveiled retaliatory tariffs, and the President responded by ordering American companies to look for "an alternative to China," and the three major stock indexes ended down for the week.
Traders were initially heartened after Fed Chair Powell's Jackson Hole speech left the door open for a rate cut in September, as a hedge against "a global slowdown," though "the U.S. economy has continued to perform well overall."
How well? Solid earnings from major retailers show consumer spending that drives 70% of the economy is very healthy. Wages have grown above 3% 12 months in a row, the longest streak since 2007, and unemployment nears a 50-year low.
The week ended with the Dow down 1.0%, to 25629; the S&P 500 down 1.4%, to 2847; and the Nasdaq down 1.8%, to 7752.
In bonds, investors sought a safe haven in Treasuries, though the 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond ended down .06, to $103.64. Freddie Mac reported the national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to another three-year low in their Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.
DID YOU KNOW?... First American says single-family starts are a more reliable recession indicator. They were down 20% or more year-over-year before four of the past five recessions, while the yield curve inverted 31 times without a subsequent recession. (Please note: single-family starts were UP 1.9% year-over-year in July.)
THIS WEEK'S FORECAST
PENDING HOME SALES, GDP GROW, CONSUMERS SPEND, INFLATION OK... Contracts on existing homes should increase in July by the Pending Home Sales index, and GDP is forecast at still solid 2.0% growth. Analysts predict Personal Spending will report a rise in consumer spending, while Core PCE Prices show inflation remains mild.
NOTE: Weaker economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and higher loan rates.
FEDERAL RESERVE WATCH
Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months... The Fed Chair's speech on Friday left the Futures market certain of a September rate cut, with a good probability of one in October, but that's it for the year. Note: In the lower chart, a 100% probability of change is a 0% probability the rate will stay the same.
Current Fed Funds Rate: 2.00%-2.25%
AFTER FOMC MEETING ON:
Probability of change from current policy:
AFTER FOMC MEETING ON:
BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK
86% of consumers consult online reviews. The secret to getting them? Send a client a request for a review by text or email the day the work is done or the deal closes. Ask every customer--a bad review shows readers your posts are authentic.
Darel Ansley Senior Real Estate Loan Officer NMLS# 500247
This e-mail is an advertisement for Darel Ansley. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed
as investment and/or mortgage advice, or a commitment to lend. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, there is no guarantee of
its accuracy. The material contained in this message is the property of Peoples Bank and cannot be reproduced for any use without prior written consent.
This message is intended for business professionals only and is not intended for distribution to consumers or other third parties. The material does not
represent the opinion of Peoples Bank.