The Market Bull – December 18, 2019
The major averages finish about even on little real news. Trumps impeachment goes to the Senate where it will most likely end.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that mortgage activity fell 5% last week as refi’s slipped 6.5% and purchase apps dropped 2.1%. The 30-year contract rate for a jumbo loan increased fractionally to 3.96%. After steadily increasing since the beginning of the year compliments of lower interest rates, mortgage activity seems to be topping out. Despite continuous talk of higher wages, low rates and record low unemployment. Higher wages have largely failed to materialize despite 65-year lows in the unemployment rate. Record student debt and the inability to secure stable well-paid employment is preventing many in the 40 and under crowd from becoming first time home buyers that in turn crimps the move up buyer cohort something that shows up in the data. Like so many other salient talking points it is conveniently overlooked by the mainstream media.
State personal income advanced 3.8% in the 3rd quarter. Particularly strong gains were recorded by the Plains +1.8%, Great Lakes +1.1% and Southwest +1% regions. While earned income gains led the way at 5.2% annualized, other types of income including dividends, rents and interest income were weak falling a collective 1.2%. Marking a reversal of recent income trend growth. While not a bad report. The third-quarter state personal income figures were a reality check. The 3.8% pace of gains was much slower than in the first half of the year, and the second-quarter figure was revised lower by 1% on an annualized basis. The West and South slowed markedly in the 3rd quarter but remain the fastest growing regions year to date. At the state level Washington and California turned in the best-performance.
Standard and Poors 500 Index closed at: 3,191.14 down 1.38
NASDAQ finished the day: 8,827.73 up 4.38
Gold ended trading at: $1,479.70 down $.90