Headline News from Last Week
- Consumer Credit – Credit card debt it not building, which is a positive for consumer wealth, but a negative for store sales. Credit expanded $17.5 billion in March.
- Jobless Claims – Initial claims fell 26,000 to a level just below the Econoday estimate. Despite the improvement, it’s still trending higher for a third straight gain.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort – Consumer Confidence held near the second-highest level in more than six years as households remained upbeat about their finances.
According to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac, average fixed-rate mortgage rates continued to decrease. In fact, at 4.21%, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped to their lowest point since November 7, 2013.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged 4.21% with an average 0.6 point for the week ending May 8, 2014, down from last week when they averaged 4.29%. A year ago at this time, 30-year FRMs averaged 3.42%.
15-year FRMs this week averaged 3.32% with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when they averaged 3.38%. A year ago at this time, 15-year FRMs averaged 2.61%.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 3.05% this week with an average 0.5 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.58%.
1-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.43% this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when they averaged 2.45 percent. At this time last year, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.53%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased during the week, capped off by Friday’s new all-time record. The same couldn’t be said for the S&P 500 and NASDAQ, both of which lost ground.
The Week Ahead
Tuesday, May 13
Retail Sales (8:30 a.m. ET) – Retail sales measure the total receipts at stores that sell merchandise and related services to final consumers. Sales are by retail and food service stores.
Wednesday, May 14
Housing Market Index (10 a.m. ET) – The National Association of Home Builders produces a housing market index based on a survey in which respondents from this organization are asked to rate the general economy and housing market conditions. The housing market index is a weighted average of present sales of new homes, sale of new homes expected in the next six months, and traffic of prospective buyers in new homes.
Thursday, May 15
Consumer Price Index (8:30 a.m. ET) – The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the change in the average price level of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by consumers.
Jobless Claims (8:30 a.m. ET) – New unemployment claims are compiled weekly to show the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time.
Friday, May 16
Housing Starts (8:30 a.m. ET) – A housing start is registered at the start of construction (excavation) of a new building intended primarily as a residential building.
Consumer Sentiment (9:55 a.m. ET) – The University of Michigan’s Consumer Survey Center questions 500 households each month on their financial conditions and attitudes about the economy. Consumer sentiment is directly related to the strength of consumer spending.
Visit the Quicken Loans Zing Blog for updated information on economic releases that will affect your wallet.