Rising corporate profits and consumer demand pushed the DOW up 490.81 points in April ending Friday at 12810, the highest level since May 2008. History was made as Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke gave its first news conference ever. Mr. Bernanke signaled that the central bank would end its $600 billion bond buying program in June and keep interest rates low for now. He more or less stated that the Fed is doing all it can do in order to control inflation. The economy, overall expanded at a 1.8% (GDP) annual rate for the first quarter, down from the 3.1% growth in the fourth. Most economists agree that the downward trend was due to a combination of bad weather and surging consumer prices.
On the home front, more folks purchased new homes in March, giving the battered industry a small lift after the worst winter in sales in almost a half-century. New home sales rose 11% in March the Commerce Department said last Monday in a report in the S.A. Express News. Finally, American’s confidence in the economy grew in April as fears about the job market eased, outweighing the pain from rising fuel prices. The Conference Board said the index rose to 65.4 from a revised 6.3 in March.
Local Economic News: “Oil and gas services firm Sanjel pumping up workforce by 250 jobs” was a headline in the San Antonio Business Journal this past week. Once again Cibolo-San Antonio benefits from another round of jobs being produced here locally. Sanjel USA Inc. has announced it intends to expand in Cibolo, northeast of San Antonio and intends to add another 250 jobs to its workforce representative of the impact of the Eagle Ford Shale is having on South Texas, including San Antonio. Also announced this past week are plans to transform the site of the 1968 World’s Fair or as we all like to call it-HemisFair Park. The redevelopment encompasses roughly 80 acres. Andres Andujas, CEO of the HemisFair Park Area Redevelopment Corp., says leaders have made significant progress toward the planned transformation. Nationwide Insurance announced plans recently to add another 30 agents in the San Antonio market areas. The job market in and around Bexar County seems to be improving weekly.
Real Estate and Mortgage Industry News: Sales agreements for homes rose 5.1% last month according to the National Association of Realtor’s pending home sales index. Not too shabby considering the fact that last year’s index included the first time home buyers tax credit. As we proceed further into the Spring/Summer sales season, everyone should be aware that Mortgage rates still remain very low and the Fed is still doing its job by keeping rates at these very attractive levels. But, for how long is another question? Freddie Mac reported that mortgages dropped to 4.78% for the 30 year fixed rate index this past week. If there ever was a time for folks to get serious about buying the home of their dreams, now is it-and that includes investors!
Economic data due this week: Monday: U.S. Congress returns after a 2 week recess. Monday: ISM Index= this is a manufacturing index. Thursday: Freddie Mac releases weekly Mortgage rates. Friday: National Unemployment rate
This article is for informational use only. Do not use it as financial advice. For questions/comments contact Tony Stevenson at 1.800.460.6990 or email: email@example.com