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Market UpdateHeadline News

S&P Case-Shiller HPI – Home prices were down 0.1% across the 20-city index for October. However, they were up 0.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis. Big gains were seen in Atlanta, San Francisco, Tampa and Denver. Home prices have appreciated 4.5% since this time last year.

Consumer Confidence – The consumer confidence survey was up 1.6 points this month to 92.6 from the previous level of 91. The percentage of people who said that jobs are hard to get decreased by a full point this month to 27.7%. This helped the current conditions index gain 5.1 points to finish at 98.6. Meanwhile, the expectations component fell eight-tenths of a point to 88.5 due to a softening of expectations in the job market.

Jobless Claims – Initial claims rose 17,000 this week, bringing the total up to 298,000. The four-week average rose slightly to 290,750. On a positive note, continuing claims were down 53,000 in the week of December 20 to 2.353 million. The four-week average fell by 5,000 to 2.414 million.

Pending Home Sales – This index was up to 104.8 for the month of November from the revised October number of 104. Small sales gains occurred in the Northeast, South and West. There were a small decline in the Midwest.

ISM Manufacturing Index: The manufacturing index dropped 3.2 points this month to 55.5 for December. The new orders component dropped from 66.0 last month to 57.3 in December. Backlog accumulation experienced a 2.5 point drop to 52.5. Production was also down from 64.4 to 58.8. However, the employment portion was up 1.9 points to 56.8.

Mortgage News

Fixed mortgage rates were up slightly this week. Five-year adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) were flat, while rates for one-year ARMs ticked up.

30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged 3.87% with an average 0.6 point for the week ending December 31, 2014, up from last week when they averaged 3.83%. A year ago at this time, 30-year FRMs averaged 4.53%.

15-year FRMs this week averaged 3.15% with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when they averaged 3.10%. A year ago at this time, 15-year FRMs averaged 3.55%.

5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 3.01% this week with an average 0.5 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.05%.

1-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.40% this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when they averaged 2.39%. At this time last year, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.56%.

Equity Markets

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.2% during the shortened trading week to close at 17,832.99 on Friday. The S&P 500 fell 1.4% week on week to close at 2,058.20 Friday. The NASDAQ declined 1.7% to finish the week at 4,726.81.

The Week Ahead

Wednesday, January 7

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.

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 8

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 9

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.

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

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