The major averages enter the final hour with modest gains on slightly better than expected economic data.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that mortgage activity was unchanged last week as refi’s slipped .1% and purchase apps increased .1%. The 30-year contract rate for a jumbo loan increased fractionally to 4.93%.
The September Institute for Supply Manufactures non-manufacturing or services index gained a better than expected 3.1 points to 61.6. The details were unremarkable, price data remains high.
Payrolls company ADP reports that a better than expected 230,000 new private sector jobs were created in October. The official Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS employment report is due Friday.
Recent data has shown decent income gains over the last 20-months or so. At least if you don’t look to hard at the information. Using BLS data average weekly earnings rose from $894.06 in January 2017 to $937.02 in August 2018. That suggests impressive gains of $42.96, or 4.8% weekly over the 20-month period. Using median income data and the gains fall to just $11 per week increasing from $865 to $876 or 1.3%. This suggest that income gains continue to accrue to the top 10% as has been the pattern for quite some time now. Factor in inflation and the positive gains largely disappear.
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