The Market Bull – February 6, 2019
The major averages closed today with small losses on little news of significance. So I guess the President’s speech didn’t go over to well last night.
After a brief spike in activity during the beginning of January mortgage activity continues to slip as the Mortgage Bankers Association reports that its activity index fell 2.5% last week with refi’s up .3% and purchase apps down 4.9%.
The 30-year contract rate for a jumbo loan fell 10 basis points to 4.5%.
The incomplete Productivity and Costs report for the 4th quarter showed productivity up 2.3%, while unit labor costs gained .9%. With numerous reports indicating a very tight labor market wage growth, or costs, in this case should be surging. While they are indeed rising and have been for a solid 18-months now, the gains have been tepid and the longer run trend of wage growth remains stuck in neutral at best on an inflation adjusted or real basis.
The trade deficit fell 11.5% in November to 49.3 billion. Petroleum imports declined to just 6 billion, exports slipped to 209.9 billion, imports dropped to 259.2 billion.
Once again stockpiling by companies trying to stay ahead of the trade war was cited as a factor in the report.
Standard and Poors 500 Index closed at: 2,731.61 down 6.09
NASDAQ finished the day: 7,375.28 down 26.80
Gold ended trading at: $1,310.50 down $8.70