Economic update for the week ending December 5, 2020


The U.S. economy added 245,000 new jobs in November – The Department of Labor Statistics reported that employers added 245,000 new jobs in November. That was a disappointing result as analysts expected the economy to add 445,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate dropped to 6.7% in November, down from 6.9% in October.

Stocks markets up again this week – Expectations of a $900+ billion stimulus deal sent stocks higher this week. Investors were able to overlook a new series of shutdowns, stay at home orders, and a disappointing November jobs report, on hopes of a long-awaited stimulus package. The Dow closed the week at 30,218.26, a record high and up 1.0% from 29,910.37 last week. It’s up 5.9% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 3,699.12, up 1.7% from 3,638.35 last week. It is up 14.5% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 12,464.23, up 2.1% from 12,205.85 last week. It’s up 38.9% year-to-date.

U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 0.97%, up from 0.84% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 1.73%, up from 1.57% last week. We watch bond yields because mortgage rates often follow treasury bond yields.

Mortgage rates – The December 3, 2020, Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 2.71%, almost unchanged from 2.72% last week. The 15-year fixed was 2.26% down slightly from 2.28% last week. The 5-year ARM was 2.86% down from 3.18% last week.