The Market Bull – November 20, 2019
The major averages finished off their lows for the day closing with modest losses on little real news. The on again, off again trade war is on again.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that mortgage activity fell 2.2% last week as Refi’s slipped 7.7% and Purchase Apps gained 6.7%. The 30-year contract rate for a jumbo loan declined slightly to 3.93%.
The minutes from the October Federal Open Market Committee meeting showed that the central bank is in a wait-and-see mode despite soft incoming economic data. At present the consensus is that the Fed will pass on cutting rates further in December. The minutes also show that policymakers are still looking at ways to prevent another bout of stress in the repo market. They discussed a number of options, including a standing repo facility. The Fed appears set to continue Quantitative Easing, or QE, 4.0 despite claiming that it most certainly is not QE 4.0. Concerns were also noted regarding weak second half Gross Domestic Product or GDP and the effect that the GM strike would have. Currently 4th quarter GDP is tracking just .8%.
The American Institute of Architects released their October Billings Index, it snapped a pair of declines with a 2.3-point gain to 52. This series relates to commercial construction activity. At the regional level the South scored the highest at 55.5; followed by the West 51.3; Midwest 49.9; and Northeast 47.2.
Standard and Poors 500 Index closed at: 3,108.46 down 11.72
NASDAQ finished the day: 8,526.73 down 43.93
Gold ended trading at: $1,472.00 down $2.30