Last Week Market in Review

BACK TO THE RALLY... After the prior week's losses, traders put their rally caps back on and sent the three major stock indexes up strongly on signs the Fed is curbing inflation without a big boost in unemployment. 

The PCE Price index, the Fed's favorite measure, showed inflation moderated from November's 5.5% read to 5.0% in December. Meanwhile, initial weekly jobless claims fell by 6,000, to 186,000.

In addition, the economy grew at a 2.9% annual rate in Q4, there were some strong quarterly corporate results, and Durable Goods Orders and University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment came in better-than-expected.

The week ended with the Dow UP 1.8%, to 33,978; the S&P 500 UP 2.5%, to 4,071; and the Nasdaq UP 4.3%, to 11,622.

Bond prices ended flat overall, but the UMBS 5.5% rose .05, to $101.16. Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed the national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate continued to trend down. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information. 

DID YOU KNOW… New Home Sales and Pending Home Sales are timelier indicators of where real estate is heading because they’re calculated when contracts are signed. So, it was good news that both trended up in December.

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