Last week, the three major stock indexes had their best weeks of the month, despite the fact the Dow (-74.92 points), S&P 500 (-2.86 points) and Nasdaq (-1.85 points) all dropped on Friday. Weekly gains were small and did little to reassure traders during what is on pace to be the worst month sine 2010. The markets have their eyes fixed on Europe: the Greek political situation and European debt. The next date to monitor will be the June 17 elections in Greece. As discussed in previous weeks, the elections could bring in candidates that oppose the austerity measures agreed upon by Greece in its debt deal with the EU. Should these candidates roll back the austerity measures, it is possible Greece could ultimately withdraw from the Euro.
Here in the US, we saw a number of positive economic indicators last week, but not good enough to spark markets that are severely dampened by European debt. Following is a summary of the top indicators from last week (as seen in our Market News blog):
– Existing home sales increased in April (3.4 percent) up from March (2.8 percent drop).
– The median sales price of existing home sales in April rose 10 percent year-over-year. This rise is likely a reflection of fewer discounted, distressed home sales to investors.
– Refinance applications rose 3.8 percent last week, and purchase applications dropped 3.0 percent.
– New home sales rose 3.3 percent in April.
– Jobless claims retreated, bringing the four week average down to 370,000, which is close to March lows.
In response to concerns about the stability of the Euro Zone, the dollar has gained strength against the Euro and the US bond market has been very busy. Interest rates remain at record lows, after no change week-over-week. We are advertising our 30-year fixed at 3.5 percent (3.551 percent APR) and the 15-year fixed at 2.750 percent (2.917 percent APR). See HERE for more rates.