Industrial Production: Industrial production was down 0.1% for October. Manufacturing, durable and nondurable goods experienced slight gains while mining and utilities dropped by 0.9% and 0.7% respectively for the month. Chemicals and plastics saw their largest recorded increases while motor vehicle assemblies decreased.
Producer Price Index (PPI): Production costs edged up 0.2% in October. Excluding food and energy markets, prices were up 0.4%. Energy prices helped keep inflation down as they experienced a 3.0% drop this month.
Housing Market Index: Home builder sentiment reached 58 this month, up four points from October and the second highest level of the economic recovery. Among the factors contributing to this optimism are low mortgage rates and an improved jobs market.
Housing Starts: Housing starts were down 2.8% for October after a 7.8% spike in September. Multi-family starts dropped 15.4% after being up 14.9% in September. Single-family starts rose 4.2%, matching September’s gains. Single-family and multi-family permits were both up for the month.
Consumer Price Index (CPI): Consumer prices were flat this month. Excluding food and energy, there was a 0.2% gain this month. Energy prices dropped 1.9% due to a 3.0% dip in gas prices. Year-over-year, prices for October were up 1.7%.
Jobless claims: While initial claims for last week were down 2,000 to 291,000, the four-week average was up by 1,750 to 287,500. Continuing claims, which are reported with a one-week lag, fell by 73,000 to 2,330,000 in the week of November 8.
Existing Home Sales: Existing home sales continued to rise in October, gaining 1.5%. Sales of 5.26 million units beat expectations of 5.15 million units sold. Market supply dropped 2.6% to 5.1 months.
30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates fell below 4.0% this week. Meanwhile, 1-year adjustable rate mortgage rates bumped up slightly.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged 3.99% with an average 0.5 point for the week ending November 20, 2014, down from last week when they averaged 4.01%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.22%.
15-year FRMs this week averaged 3.17% with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when they averaged 3.20%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.27%.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 3.01% this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when they averaged 3.02%. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.95%.
1-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.44% this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when they averaged 2.43%. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.61%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 91.6 points to close at a record high of 17,810.06. The S&P 500 closed up 10.75 points for the week to finish at a record high of 2,063.50. The NASDAQ closed at 4,712.97, up 11.10 points on Friday.
The Week Ahead
Tuesday, November 25
GDP (8:30 a.m. ET) – This measures the monetary value of all final goods and services produced within the U.S. This report is released on a quarterly basis.
FHFA House Price Index (9:00 a.m. ET) – This report measures home prices for single-family homes based on data from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
S&P Case-Shiller HPI (9:00 a.m. ET) – The S&P Case-Shiller home pricing index tracks monthly changes in the value of residential real estate in 20 metropolitan regions across the U.S.
Consumer Confidence (10:00 a.m. ET) – The Conference Board compiles a survey of consumer attitudes on the economy. The headline Consumer Confidence Index is based on consumers’ perceptions of current business and employment conditions, as well as their expectations for six months regarding business conditions, employment and income.
Wednesday, November 26
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. An increasing trend suggests a deteriorating labor market. The four-week moving average of new claims smooths out weekly volatility.
Durable Goods Orders (8:30 a.m. ET) – Durable goods orders are based on the new orders placed with domestic manufacturers for factory hard goods.
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.
New Home Sales (10:00 a.m. ET) – New home sales measure the number of newly constructed homes with a committed sale during the month. The level of new home sales indicates housing market trends and, in turn, economic momentum and consumer purchases of furniture and appliances.
Pending Home Sales Index (10:00 a.m. ET) – The National Association of REALTORS developed the pending home sales index as a leading indicator of housing activity. Specifically, it is a leading indicator of existing home sales, not new home sales.
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