The major averages struggled in early trade on mixed data entering the final hour with small losses. Once again Washington reaches out to China to discuss trade before applying the latest round of tariffs on an additional 200 billion in goods, giving the markets some hope early. That said this is the 3rd such announcement of trade talks since August without any progress, and very little substance.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that its weekly activity index fell 1.8% with refi’s falling 6% and purchase apps gaining 1%. The 30-year contract rate on a jumbo loan increased 5 basis points to 4.72%.
The August Producer Price Index or PPI fell .1%, this marks the first monthly decline for this series since December of 2017. Brought down by significant drops in intermediate and core unprocessed goods, largely food prices. On a year ago basis the PPI fell .4% to 2.8%, a 4-month low.
Recent data from the Census Bureau shows that Household Income has advanced for a 3rd consecutive year with a real or inflation adjusted gain of 1.8% in 2017 to $61,372. The poverty rate fell .4% last year, a 3rd consecutive decline to 12.3%, in numerical terms 39.7 million people live in poverty in the US. Those without healthcare coverage remained unchanged at 8.8%, or 28.5 million people.
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