The Weekly Rap! Friday Oct 12, 2012

The Dow is currently trading at 13,338 lower by 234 pts over last week.  The S&P 500 is trading higher at 1,430.  Gold is trading at $1,765 an ounce, while oil futures at $92.18 a barrel.  Gas prices, (Regular in El Dorado Hills, Costco, AM/PM), are at $4.31/Gal.

Yields on 10-year notes, which move inversely to prices, are trading at 1.66%.  30-year bond yields are trading at 2.82%.  Mortgages or FNMA 3.5% MBS (Mortgage Backed Security) is currently at 106.72 experiencing a small correction.  Basically each percent change in the price of the security translates to the price (or points paid or credited) of the mortgage rate.

In economic news this week; Job openings at U.S. workplaces were about the same at 3.56 million in August from 3.59 million in July. Compared with the prior year, job openings rose 13%, private openings increased 13% to 3.19 million, and government openings rose 10% to 369,000. There were more than 4 million jobs open when the recession began in December 2007.

The Fed reported that the economy continued to grow modestly across much of the nation in the past month, based on interviews with thousands of business contacts.  Reports from the twelve Fed districts indicated that economic activity generally expanded modestly since the last report.  The Beige Book, is an anecdotal account of the economy produced by economists in the 12 regional Fed banks.  While the latest Beige Book showed no dramatic differences from the one published on Aug. 29, it did seem somewhat less downbeat.

The number of U.S. workers who filed new applications for unemployment benefits dropped sharply, by 30,000, last week to 339,000, the lowest level in more than four years, interestingly like last week’s unemployment rate, many economites are saying it may have been the result of a statistical fluke.  I guess we’ll see in the revisions to come.

Prices at the wholesale level rose 1.1% in September after a 1.7% increase in August as the rise in gasoline prices jumped and passed the increase on to everything else.  The core wholesale price index, which excludes food and energy prices, was flat in September after a 0.2% gain in the prior month.

Bill Bartok


This entry was posted in Finance.

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