Mortgage Applications, Consumer Spending Up, US Stock Markets are on decline today

June 14, 2016

Tuesday – June 14

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported on Tuesday that mortgage applications to purchase new homes fell 6% from April, but remain 8% higher than last year this time. The MBA said that despite new home purchase applications being down in May, it expects modest growth in housing starts to be reported later this week as the spring building season continues. The MBA’s Builder Application Survey tracks application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of home builders across the country.

After a slowdown in the beginning of the year, the consumer spending was alive and kicking in April and May for the second straight month of gains. Retail Sales rose 0.5% in May, above the 0.3% expected. Sales at clothing stores, online retailers, restaurants and bars all grew solidly. Retail Sales were up 2.5% from a year ago. Retail Sales measure the total receipts of retail stores from samples representing all sizes and kinds of business in retail trade throughout the nation.

The U.S. Stock markets are on the decline today and have closed lower for three straight trading sessions. Concerns of global instability, the Brexit fears and slowing job growth here in the U.S. are some of the key factors causing the recent sell-off. In addition, the monetary policy statement from this week’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting is sending jitters through U.S. markets. The closely watched S&P 500 has decreased 2.2% in the past four trading days. Brexit refers to the possibility that Britain will withdraw from the European Union with a vote on the issue coming on June 3.