The Market Bull – January 16, 2019
The major averages finished with modest gains on little significant data. The British government survives a no confidence vote following the Brexit fiasco. Trump orders Federal workers to return to work, without pay, after forcing a government shutdown. Sounds suspiciously like slavery if you ask me.
Mortgage activity jumped again in the latest week as per the Mortgage Bankers Association weekly index after it gained 13.5%. Refi’s jumped 18.7%, purchase apps increased 9.1%.
The 30-year contract rate for a jumbo loan increased fractionally to 4.53%.
More signs of easing price pressures showed up in the December Trade Prices data after export prices fell for a second month down 1%. Import prices slipped .6%.
On a year ago basis export prices advanced just 1.1% while import prices dropped .6%. Large declines in energy prices was the primary driver.
The National Association of Home Builders Confidence Index gained 2 points in January to 58 on gains in the Northeast and West that added 5 points to 70.
All 3 subcomponents advanced but traffic remains weak at 44.
The latest Beige Book on regional economic conditions showed more of the same moderate to modest economic growth in all regions. That said growing uncertainty with respect to interest rates, energy prices, the government shutdown and financial market volatility were listed as concerns going forward.
Standard and Poors 500 Index closed at: 2,616.10 up 5.80
NASDAQ finished the day: 7,034.69 up 10.86
Gold ended trading at: $1,293.50 up $5.10