Stock markets surged to record highs in October- Stocks rebounded in October as investors were encouraged by a number of factors. Among the most notable was a drop in COVID-19 cases across the country, third-quarter corporate profits mostly exceeding expectations, and a proposed increase of the corporate tax rate was removed from the latest spending plan.The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the month at 35,819.56, up 5.8% from33,843.92 at the end of September. It is up 16.9% year-to-date.The S&P 500 closed the month at 4,605.38, up 6.9%from 4,307.54 last month. It is up 22.7% year-to-date.The NASDAQ closed the month at 15,498.39, up 7.3%from 14,448.50 last month. It is up 20.3% year-to-date.
U.S. Treasury bond yields - The 10-year treasury bond closed the month yielding 1.55%, up from 1.52% last month.The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the month at 1.93%, downfrom 2.08% last month. We watch bond yields because mortgage rates often follow treasury bond yields.
Mortgage rates - The October 28, 2021, Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Surveyreported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows:The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.14%, upfrom 3.01% last month.The 15-year fixed was 2.37%, upfrom 2.28% last month.The 5-year ARM was 2.56%, upfrom 2.48% last month. Rates dropped on the 28th and 29th. The 30-year ended the month just above 3%.
TheOctober jobs reportwill be released next Friday.Home salesare released on the third week of the month for the previous month. These are September's results.
U.S. employers added 194,000 jobs in September - The Department of Labor and Staticsreported that194,000new jobs were added in September. That number disappointed analysts as economists surveyed had predicted 500,000 new jobs. August's new jobs number was revised up to 366,000 from an initial report of 245,000 jobs added, but it's still a long way off from the nearly 1 million new jobs added monthly up to July 2021. The slowdown in hiring over the past two months is a trend that has everyone concerned that the recovery may be stalling. Experts pointed to a pullback in hiring due to a surge in new COVID cases in August, but new cases were on the decline in September and hiring continued to slow. Average hourly wages rose 4.6% year over year. Many workers have also left the workforce. The labor-force participation rate, (the share of workers with a job or actively looking for a job), dropped to 61.6%, down from 63.6% before the pandemic. Theunemployment rate was 4.8% in September, downfrom 5.2% in August. It has fallen from a high of 14.8% at the start of the pandemic but is a long way off from its 3.5% rate before the pandemic.
U.S. Existing-home sales increase 7% in September - The National Association of Realtorsreported that existing-home salesjumped 7%from the number of sales reported in August. Year-over-year sales were down 2.3% from the near-record number of sales one year ago. Themedian pricepaid for a home in the United Statesincreased 13.3%from last September.
California home sales rise 5.6% month-over-month in September - The California Association of Realtorsreported thatexisting home salestotaled 438,190, up 5.6% month-over-month from August, and down 10.5% year-over-year from September 2020.Year-to-date sales are up 16.8%from the same period last year. Themedian price paid for an existing home in September was $808,890, up 13.5%from last September when the median price was $712,430. There was a1.9 month supply of homesfor sale in September, down slightly from a 2.0 month supply of homes for sale one year ago.