The Market Bull – January 29, 2020
The major averages couldn’t hold their early gains following mixed earnings data and some disappointing but not overly significant economic reports.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that mortgage activity advanced 7.2% last week as refis gained 7.5% and purchase apps increased 5.3%. The 30-year contract rate for a jumbo loan slipped to 3.78%. On a year ago basis refi activity is up a respectable 111.56% but purchase activity only advanced 9.9% on the same basis.
The international trade balance deficit jumped 8.4% in December to 68.3 billion as growth in imports outstripped export growth. Distortions from the GM auto workers strike give way to the 737 Max shutdown next month, so this series is likely to remain volatile for the time being.
Wholesale inventories slipped .1% in December; retail inventories were unchanged. The 737 Max fiasco is expected to hit wholesale inventories hard next month, along with manufacturing.
The National Association of Realtors or NAR pending home sales index slumped 4.9% in December nearly wiping out all of the gains for the series in 2019. All regions declined for the month, particularly in the South and West though these two regions also show the best growth from a year ago up 7.4% and 7% respectively. Sales continue to be plagued by a lack of affordability and inventory for sale.
Standard and Poors 500 Index closed at: 3,273.40 down 2.84
NASDAQ finished the day: 9,275.16 up 5.48
Gold ended trading at: $1,576.70 up $6.90