Economic Update For The Week Ending June 18, 2016

Stocks lower this week – Stock markets have dropped in the last 6 sessions. Investor’s fears are over next Thursday’s British referendum to leave the European Union. It is unknown what impact it will have if the referendum passes, but many investors feel it will harm the European economy and thus hurt corporate profits. Some believe that if the British break away from the European Union others will follow. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 17,675.16, down from 17,865.34 last Friday. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,071.22, down from 2,096.07 last week. The NASDAQ closed the week at 4,800.34, down from last week’s close of 4,895.55.

Bond yields remain near 3-year low – The 10 year U.S. Treasury bond yield closed the week at 1.62%, down slightly from 1.64% last Friday. The 30-year U.S. Treasury bond closed at 2.44%, also down from 2.44% last week. Mortgage rates follow bond rates so we watch bond rates carefully.

Mortgage rates at 3-year low – The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey released on June 16, 2016 showed that average mortgage rates from lenders surveyed for the most popular mortgage products were as follows: The 30-year fixed rate average was 3.54%. The 15-year fixed average rate was 2.81% The 5/1 ARM average rate was 2.74%. Bond yields dropped at the end on the week so rates could be even lower next week.

California’s unemployment rate dips to 5.2% – The Employment Development Department reported that California employers’s added 15,200 net new jobs in May. While the number of new jobs added was below what analysts expected, the unemployment rate fell from 5.3% in April to 5.2% in May. The unemployment rate in May 2015 was 6.4%, so being at 5.2% is a 1.2% drop year over year!

Federal Reserve leaves rates unchanged in June – Amid worries of slowing job growth, The Federal Open Market Committee declined to raise it’s interest rate target at this week’s two day meeting from 0.5%. Fed chairperson, Janet Yellen signaled late last year that there could be as many as 6 increases in 2016. As the labor market growth has slowed and economic growth no longer at last year’s levels, Fed officials are signaling that there may only be one or two increases in 2016.

California existing home sales and prices up in May – The California Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales in California totaled 410,190 in May on a seasonally adjusted annual rate. That is up 0.6% from April and down 3.2% from last May. Tight inventory has impacted the number of sales, as there was just a 3.4 month supply of homes on the market in May, down from 3.5 months in April. A 6-7 month supply is considered normal. The median price paid for a single family home in California rose to $518,760 in May from $509,590 in April. 

Have a great weekend!