The Market Bull – January 22, 2020
The major averages closed with small gains on mixed economic data. The Chinese flu virus spreads further and reaches the USA. Trump’s impeachment continues.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that mortgage activity fell 1.2% last week as refi’s slipped 1.8% and purchase apps dropped 2%. The 30-year contract rate for a jumbo loan increased slightly to 3.87%.
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index that covers some 85% of total economic activity plunged in December, falling .91 points to -.36. A volatile series, the 3-month moving average improved to -.23. 3 of the 4 subcomponents were negative, only personal consumption was positive for the month. While this series continues to struggle in the red for a number of month’s now, it remains far from indicating a recession which is generally figured to be -.7 for the data set.
The real bright spot today was existing home sales as they handily beat expectations in December with a 3.6% gain to 5.4 million units annualized as this series finished the year on a solid uptrend. Month’s supply fell to a fairly low 3. The median price advanced 1.2% for the month and 7.8% from a year ago to $274,500. All regions reported solid sales gains except the Midwest where sales fell 1.5%.
Standard and Poors 500 Index closed at: 3,324.45 up 3.66
NASDAQ finished the day: 9,396.80 up 25.99
Gold ended trading at: $1,557.70 down $.20