Economic Update for the week ending July 24, 2021


Stock markets closed the week at or near record highs – The week began with the largest one day point drop since October marking five straight days of declines. This was due to fears of rising COVID cases. It has become evident that COVID is not behind us as we had hoped. On Tuesday calming words by the Fed, and another round of corporate profit releases turned markets positive. By week’s end markets had made up all of their loses and returned to record high levels. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 35,061.55, up 1.1% from 34,687.85 last week. It is up 14.4% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 4,411.79, up 2.0% from 4,327.16 last week. It is up 17.5% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 14,836.99, up 2.9% from 14,427.24 last week. It is up 15% year-to-date.


U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 1.30%, almost unchanged from 1.31% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 1.92%, almost unchanged from 1.93% last week. We watch bond yields because mortgage rates often follow treasury bond yields.


Mortgage rates – The July 22, 2021, Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.78%, down  from 2.88% last week. The 15-year fixed was 2.17%, down from 2.22% last week. The 5-year ARM was 2.49%, almost unchanged from 2.47% last week.


June U.S. home sales – The National Association of Realtors reported thatexisting-home sales jumped 22.9% from the number of homes sold last June.The median price paid for a home in May was $363,300, up 23.4% from last June’s median price of $294,400. May marked the 112th  straight months of year-over-year increases in the median price. The unsold inventory level is at a 2.6-month supply, down from a 3.9-month supply one year ago. Total housing inventory was 3.3% higher in June than the number of homes for sale in May, but down 18.8% from the number of homes for sale one year ago. First time buyersaccounted for 31% of all purchases. Second-home and investor purchasesaccounted for 17% of all homes sold. Foreclosures and short sales accounted for less than 1% of all homes sold. All cash purchases accounted for 23% of all transactions.

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