Stock market indexes reach new record highs – The Dow and S&P closed at record highs on Friday. They both gained about 1% for the week. Stocks rallied on Thursday and Friday following an announcement that a tax reduction plan would be announced in the next few weeks, and an outline of a plan drafted by the chairman of the House Committee of Financial Services which would remove many regulations in The Dodd Frank Financial Reform Bill passed in 2010. Investors are becoming more optimistic that lower taxes, less regulation, and higher infrastructure spending could fuel faster economic growth. 2016 fourth quarter corporate profits beat estimates by most companies reporting, which provided further optimism. Energy stocks were boosted as well because investors were encouraged to see that OPEC is following through on its commitment to decrease production of oil to increase oil prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 20,296.37, up from last week’s close of 20,071.46. The S&P 500 ended the week at 2,316.10, up from its close of 2,297.42 last week. The NASDAQ closed the week at 5,734.13, up from last week’s close of 5,666.77.
U.S. Treasury Bond yields lower this week – The 10-year U.S. Treasury Bond closed the week yielding 2.41%, down from 2.49% last Friday. The 30-year Treasury Bond yield closed the week at 3.01%, down from 3.11% last week. Mortgage rates follow bond yields, so we watch treasury bonds closely.
Mortgage rates hold steady – The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey released on February 9, 2017 revealed that average mortgage rates from lenders surveyed for the most popular mortgage products were as follows: The 30-year fixed rate average was 4.17%. The 15-year fixed average rate was 3.39%. The 5/1 ARM average rate was 3.21%
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