MBA Purchase Applications – Purchase applications rose 1.0% last week. Low mortgage rates aren’t having the effect on new purchases that they are on refinancing. Purchases are down 11% year-over-year.
Jobless Claims – Initial jobless claims were up 12,000 to 290,000, the highest number in five weeks. Although these are still low, it raised the four-week average by 6,000 to 285,000. Continuing claims rose 36,000 in the week of November 1 to 2.392 million. The four-week average rose by a thousand to 2.373 million.
Retail Sales – Despite lower gas prices, retail sales were up 0.3% in October, making up for September’s losses. There was strength in the areas of non-store retail, sporting goods and hobby stores, food and drink and miscellaneous retailers. There were declines in electronics and appliance stores as well as department stores. Auto sales were up 0.5%. Gasoline sales were down 1.5%.
Consumer Sentiment – Consumer sentiment is at 89.4% for the preliminary November reading. This is up a full three points from the reading to end October. A major factor in this is the spike in consumer sentiment on current conditions, which is up 4.7 points since the final reading of September. Falling gas prices have greatly boosted confidence. These have also slowed inflation.
Fixed-rate mortgages were down this week while adjustable-rate mortgages were a mixed bag.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged 4.01% with an average 0.5 point for the week ending November 13, 2014, down from last week when they averaged 4.02%. A year ago at this time, 30-year FRMs averaged 4.35%.
15-year FRMs this week averaged 3.20% with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when they averaged 3.21%. A year ago at this time, 15-year FRMs averaged 3.35%.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 3.02% this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.97%. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.01%.
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%. At this time last year, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.61%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4% on the week at 17,634.74. The S&P 500 matched the 0.4% gain to close the week at 2,039.82. The NASDAQ rose 1.2% on the week to finish at 4,688.54.
The Week Ahead
Monday, November 17
Industrial Production (9:15 a.m. ET) – The Federal Reserve’s monthly index of industrial production and the related capacity indexes and capacity utilization rates cover manufacturing, mining and electric and gas utilities.
Tuesday, November 18
Producer Price Index (PPI) (8:30 a.m. ET) – The Producer Price Index measures the average change over time in the prices received by domestic producers of goods and services.
Housing Market Index (10:00 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 separate diffusion indexes, including present sales of new homes, sales of new homes expected in the next six months, and traffic of prospective buyers in new homes.
Wednesday, November 19
MBA Purchase Applications (7:00 a.m. ET) – The purchase applications index measures applications at mortgage lenders. This is a leading indicator for single-family home sales and housing construction.
Housing Starts (8:30 a.m. ET) – A housing start is registered when the construction of a new residential building begins. The start of construction is defined as the beginning of excavation of the foundation for the building.
Thursday, November 20
Consumer Price Index (8:30 a.m. ET) – The Consumer Price Index measures changes in the price 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.
Existing Home Sales (10:00 a.m. ET) – Existing Home Sales tallies the number of previously constructed homes, condominiums and co-ops in which a sale closed during the month. Existing homes (also known as home re-sales) account for a larger share of the market than new homes and indicate housing market trends.
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