The U.S. stock market finished the week lower on the shortened Martin Luther King Jr. week as fears of the coronavirus sent stocks lower. Interest rates also moved lower as the 10-year treasury yield dropped from 1.84% last week to 1.68% today. Meanwhile the price of gold rose 0.83% to $1,570 an ounce as investors fled to the haven metal. The price of crude oil dropped 7.5% to $54.37 a barrel amid fears of falling demand and oversupply of the finite resource.
This Week's Economic Highlights
Existing home sales rose by a larger-than-expected 3.5% in December. Demand for homes has been surging due to falling mortgage rates, which has pushed the supply down 8.5% over the past year to its lowest level since its’ been tracked in 1982. Meanwhile the median price of existing homes has jumped 7.8% in the past year due to the imbalance in supply and demand.
Initial unemployment claims rose by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 211,000 for the week ending January 18th. However, the more stable four-week average of initial claims fell by 3,250 as claims had previously fallen five straight weeks in a row.
“Paying attention to known risks is smart. But we should acknowledge that what [we] can’t see, aren’t talking about, and aren’t prepared for will likely be more consequential than all the known risks combined.”
– Morgan Housel
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