RISING TENSIONS LOWER STOCKS… Stocks sank Friday after U.S. forces killed the general who ran Iran’s extraterritorial operations. But this followed record highs on Thursday, so the three major indexes ended the week little changed.
Investors also didn’t much like Friday’s ISM Manufacturing Index, still below 50, indicating contraction. But manufacturing will be helped by the Fed’s low rate stance and the Phase One China trade deal to be signed January 15.
We also got the news construction spending was up overall in November, October’s numbers were revised upward, and residential construction spending went up the most, with single-family construction the main driver.
The week ended with the Dow flat (down just 10 points), at 28,635; the S&P 500 down 0.2%, to 3,235; but the Nasdaq UP 0.2%, to 9,021.
While stocks slipped, bonds finished the week firmly higher. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond was UP .11, to $104.06. The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell slightly in Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.
DID YOU KNOW?… The New York Fed [em.mediacenternow.com] reports the average annual salary for full-time workers rose to a record high $69,181 in November, in the strongest job market in five decades. This supports real estate demand, with more buyers qualifying for mortgages.