MBA Purchase Applications – The purchase applications index was up 2.0% in the week of October 3, achieving its best level since July. This is 8.0% below where it was at this time last year.
Jobless Claims – There were 1,000 fewer initial jobless claims this week, bringing the number to 287,000. The four-week average fell 7,250 to 287,750. This puts the average of jobless claims at its lowest level since February 2006. Continuing jobless claims fell again, dropping by 21,000 for a new recovery low of 2.381 million.
According to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac, average fixed-rate mortgage rates fell back near their 2014 lows.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged 4.12% with an average 0.5 point for the week ending October 9, 2014, down from last week when they averaged 4.19%. A year ago at this time, 30-year FRMs averaged 4.23%.
15-year FRMs this week averaged 3.30% with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when they averaged 3.36%. A year ago at this time, 15-year FRMs averaged 3.31%.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 3.05% this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when they averaged 3.06%. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.05%.
1-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.42% this week with an average 0.4 point, unchanged from last week. At this time last year, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.64%.
The Dow fell 115.15 points on Friday, leaving it down 2.7% from last week’s close. The NASDAQ dropped 102.10 points to close at 4,276.24, a 2.3% decline for the week. The S&P 500 lost 22.08 points to close down 3.1% on the week.
The Week Ahead
Wednesday, October 15
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.
Producer Price Index (8:30 a.m. ET) – The Producer Price Index (PPI) of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a family of indexes that measures the average change over time in the prices received by domestic producers of goods and services.
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 services stores. Data is collected from the Monthly Retail Trade Survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
Thursday, October 16
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.
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: present sales of new homes, sale of new homes expected in the next six months, and traffic of prospective buyers in new homes.
Friday, October 17
Housing Starts (8:30 a.m. ET) – A housing start is registered at the start of construction of a new building intended primarily as a residential building. The start of construction is defined as the beginning of excavation of the foundation for the 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.
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