Jobless Claims Fall as New Year Approaches – Market Update

Quicken Loans Market Update - Zing Blog

Last Week:

Headline News

  • New Home Sales – New home sales fell 2.1% to 464,000 in November. However, October and September were revised substantially higher, suggesting that the rebound following the slowdown in July was stronger than initially reported.
  • Jobless Claims – Initial jobless claims fell to 338,000 in the week ending December 21, from a revised 380,000 in the previous week. The Labor Department is stating that difficulty in adjusting data during the holiday season is the likely reason for volatility in claims for the last two months of the year.
  • Consumer Confidence – The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment held steady at 82.5 in the final December reading, which is the strongest report since July’s reading of 82.1.

Mortgage Rates

According to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac, average fixed mortgage rates changed little heading into the last few days of 2013:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) averaged 4.48% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending December 26. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.35%.

15-year FRM averaged 3.52% with an average 0.7 point, up from the previous week when it averaged 3.51%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.65%.

5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) averaged 3.00% with an average 0.4 point, up from the previous week when it averaged 2.96%. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.70%

1-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.56% with an average 0.5 point, down from last week’s 2.57%. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.56%.

Equity Markets

U.S. stocks ended little changed Friday but they’re capping off a very strong year. The Nasdaq, S&P 500 and Dow Jones have risen more than 25% in 2013.

The Week Ahead

  • Tuesday, December 31 (9 a.m. ET): S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index
  • Wednesday, January 1: Markets closed for New Year’s Day
  • Thursday, January 2 (8:30 a.m. ET): Jobless Claims

Visit the Quicken Loans Zing Blog for updated information on important economic releases that affect your wallet.


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