S&P Case-Shiller HPI: Home prices were up 0.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the 20-city index. Prices were up 0.1% overall in October and 5.5% on the year. San Francisco, Denver and Portland continued to be the hottest housing markets with year-over-year gains of 10.9% in sales price. Looking at the broader picture, 12 of the 20 cities surveyed had gains over this time last year.
Consumer Confidence: Consumer confidence rose, up 6.1 points in December to come in at 96.5. There was a big gain in the present situation component as it was up to 115.3 from 110.9. There was a 2.3% improvement in the number of people saying business conditions are good – 27.3%. However, those saying business conditions are bad was also up 2.9% to 19.8%. In a positive, 24.1% of those surveyed think jobs are plentiful, while the number of people who think jobs are hard to get decreased 1.1% to 24.7%. Meanwhile, more people expect additional jobs to become available in the coming months. However, the number of people expecting their incomes to increase was down 1.0%.
Pending Home Sales Index: Pending home sales were down 0.9% in November to 106.9. This is blamed on a lack of available homes for sale and rising home prices. Turning to regional data, sales were up 1.0% and 1.3% in the Midwest and South, respectively. This was offset by declines of 3.0% and 5.5% in the Northeast and West, respectively. All regions are showing higher sales numbers for the year.
Jobless Claims: Initial claims were up 20,000 to 287,000 last week. This is the highest level since July 4. The four-week average was up 4,500 to 277,000. Continuing claims also edged higher, up 3,000 to 2.198 million. Some volatility may have been a result of the recent holiday season.
The 30-year fixed-mortgage (FRM) crossed 4% for the first time in a while to close out 2015.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.01% with an average 0.6 point for the week ending December 31, 2015, up from last week when they averaged 3.96%. A year ago at this time, 30-year FRMs averaged 3.87%.
15-year FRMs this week averaged 3.24% with an average 0.6 point, up from 3.22% last week. A year ago at this time, 15-year FRMs averaged 3.15%.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 3.08% this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when they averaged 3.06%. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.01%.
1-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.68% this week with an average 0.2 point, unchanged from last week. At this time last year, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.40%.
Stocks were lower Dec. 31, 2015, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 had their worst year since 2008. The S&P 500 finished 2015 up 5.5%.
The Dow was down 178.84 points Thursday to close at 17,425.03, down 0.72% for the week. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 was 19.42 points lower to close at 2,043.94. This is a weekly loss of 0.83%. The NASDAQ finished the last trading day of the year down 58.43 points to 5,007.41, down 0.81% for the week.
The Week Ahead
Monday, January 4
ISM Manufacturing Index (10:00 a.m.) – This index measures the general direction of manufacturing within the U.S. The qualitative survey of purchasing managers looks at production, new orders, order backlogs, inventories and supplier deliveries, among other factors.
Wednesday, January 6
MBA Mortgage Applications (7:00 a.m. ET) – The mortgage applications index measures applications to mortgage lenders. This is a leading indicator for single-family home sales and housing construction.
International Trade (8:30 a.m. ET) – International trade is composed of merchandise (tangible goods) and services. It’s available by export, import and trade balance for six principal end-use commodity categories and for more than 100 principal Standard International Trade Classification system commodity groupings.
Thursday, January 7
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.
Friday, January 8
Employment Situation (8:30 a.m. ET) – The employment situation report measures unemployment in the labor force as well as the sentiments of workers about the job market.
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