May 20th, 2019
TRADE WAR WORRIES WIN OUT... For five days, uncertainty over the trade battle with China riled Wall Street, and even some excellent economic data couldn't prevent the stock market from ending down for the week.
The Leading Economic Index (LEI) rose in April for the third month in a row, a key sign of future growth. Plus, consumer confidence hit a 15-year high in the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index.
Some fretted over April's Retail Sales slip, but that followed March's largest monthly gain in more than a year. Manufacturing kept growing by the Philly Fed and NY Empire State Indexes, while initial jobless claims stayed historically low.
The week ended with the Dow down 0.7%, to 25764; the S&P 500 down 0.8%, to 2860; and the Nasdaq down 1.3%, to 7816.
Trade war uneasiness sent bond prices higher. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond ended UP .12, at $102.78. Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed the national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate again dropped. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.
DID YOU KNOW?... A Harris Poll reports that about 12.1 million homeowners are planning to list their homes--around 16% of them in the next 18 Months.