>> Market Update
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... Fannie Mae's latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index reports more people say now is a good time to buy--and more also say now is a good time to sell. Happy Spring!
Pew Research Center reports the number of multigenerational households hit an all-time high in 2016. Homes with two or more adult generations grew to 20% of the population--64 million people--according to Census Bureau data.
It's terrific to see the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) award a record $28 billion to help nine states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands recover from last year's disasters.
BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... When prospects give you their contacts, get back to them as soon as you can. Studies show response time is the biggest factor determining whether a contact becomes a workable lead or a missed opportunity.
>> Review of Last Week
ROLLER COASTER UP... After two years of calm growth, the stock market went volatile in 2018. The S&P 500 has moved up or down more than 1% six weeks in a row. Last week the ol' Wall Street roller coaster climbed back up.
Trade war worries eased as Chinese President Xi Jinping said he plans to "significantly" cut tariffs on imported automobiles, reduce duties on other goods and improve foreign firms' intellectual property rights. Welcome to The Art of the Deal, Mr. Xi.
The Mideast got tense, but nothing happened by market close on Friday. Analysts say Q1 corporate earnings will be solid and inflation is trending up, so economic strength should keep the Fed on track for two more rate hikes this year.
The week ended with the Dow UP 1.8%, to 24360; the S&P 500 UP 2.0%, to 2656; and the Nasdaq UP 2.8%, to 7107.
Bonds were held down by surging stocks and rate hike concerns. The 30YR FNMA 4.0%, bond we watch ended the week down .32, at $102.27. National average 30-year fixed mortgage rates held steady in Freddie Mac's latest 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?... More than a million cars were flooded in last year's hurricanes. When buying a used vehicle, be sure to have it checked for water damage.
>> This Week's Forecast
RETAIL SALES HEAD UP, SO DOES HOME BUILDING... Analysts expect healthy Retail Sales growth again in March. Likewise, home building should come in with higher Housing Starts and Building Permits. We'll also check the Beige Book's take on economic conditions in each Fed District.