Economic update for the week ending July 7, 2017

Employers add 222,000 jobs in June – Hiring rebounded in June, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, as employers added 222,000 new jobs. Although the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4% in June from 4.3% in May, a 16-year low, this was a solid report which beat expectations after a disappointing three months of job growth. The labor-force participation rate grew from 67.7% in May to 67.8% in June as more people entered the work force. Wages grew 0.2% in June from May and are up just 2.5% over the last 12 months. That’s well below average wage growth and still stumping experts. It’s highly unusual to have low unemployment without healthy wage growth. 

Stocks higher this week – Stocks rallied after Friday’s jobs report. After a lackluster week in which disappointing auto sales, weakness in “brick and mortar” retail, and pressure on tech firms, stocks rebounded as more workers than expected were hired in June. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the week at 21,414.34, up from 21,349.63 last week. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,425.18, unchanged from its close last week of 2,423.41. The NASDAQ closed the week at 6,153.08, up from last week’s close of 6,140.42. 

Bond yields higher again this week– The 10-year Treasury bond closed the week at 2.39%, up from 2.31% last week. The 30-year treasury yield ended the week at 2.93%, up from 2.84% last week. Mortgage rates follow treasury bond yields so we watch bond yields carefully.

Mortgage Rates higher this week– The July 6, 2017 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 3.96%, up from 3.88% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.22%, up from 3.18% last week. The 5year ARM was 3.21%, up from 3.18% last week. Unfortunately, rates rose late in the week so next weeks rates will be higher. 

Have a great weekend!