Existing Home Sales – Existing home sales rose 2.4% in the month of September, pushing the annual rate to a higher-than-anticipated 5.17 million. Year-over-year sales are down 1.7%.
MBA Purchase Applications – Purchase applications fell 5.0%, marking a second week of drops. The purchase index is down 9.0% year-over-year. Falling mortgage rates have led to steep increases in refinancing, but are not necessarily helping the purchase market.
Jobless Claims – Initial jobless claims rose 17,000 for a total of 283,000, beating analyst estimates. The revised number of 266,000 for last week marks a 14-year low, as does the four-week average of 281,000.
New Home Sales – New home sales occurred at a rate of 467,000 in September, beating the revised August rate by a thousand. This marks the best sales rate of the economic recovery. The median sales price was down 9.7% to $259,000 from August, and is down 4.0% from last year.
According to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac, fixed-rate mortgages hit new lows for the year again amid decreased bond yields.
30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRMs) averaged 3.92% with an average 0.5 point for the week ending October 23, 2014, down from last week when they averaged 3.97%. A year ago at this time, 30-year FRMs averaged 4.13%.
15-year FRMs this week averaged 3.08% with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when they averaged 3.18%. A year ago at this time, 15-year FRMs averaged 3.24%.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 2.91% this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when they averaged 2.92%. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.00%.
1-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.41% this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when they averaged 2.38%. At this time last year, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.60%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished last week up 425 points, or 2.6%. The S&P 500 was up 77.82 points for a 4.1% weekly gain. The NASDAQ gained 225.28 points this week, adding 5.3%.
The Week Ahead
Monday, October 27
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.
Tuesday, October 28
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.
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, October 29
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.
Thursday, October 30
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.
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.
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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