US stocks continue to tumble on Friday, with the major averages down more than 3% at the lows of the session. Some of the larger tech stocks like Microsoft and Apple slammed lower but rebounded to close well off their lows. Gold prices tumbled on Friday, pulling down the metal mining stocks. The Fed was on the tape mid-day saying that they stand ready to lower rates if need be. The market is currently pricing in 3-rate cuts in 2020 with one coming in March of 2020.
All sectors in the S&P 500 index were lower on Friday, led down by Utilities, Energy was the best performing sector in a down tape. Inflation came out in line with expectations, but this did not affect the 10-year treasury yields which dropped to another all-time low. There is little word from the White House about how they will coordinate a response to the coronavirus which is also keeping inventors skittish. The VIX volatility index hit multi-year highs climbing up to 50%, the highest level since 2008.
The Personal-consumption expenditures rose 0.2% in January from December, according to the Commerce Department. Personal income advanced 0.6% last month, the largest gain in 11 months. Expectations were for a 0.2% increase in spending and a 0.4% gain in personal income. Gains in income and spending came against the backdrop of still-modest inflation pressures. The price index for personal consumption expenditures, rose 0.1% on the month and was up 1.7% from a year earlier. Year-over-year price gains were 1.5% in December and 1.3% in November.
Mortgages Continue to Buoy Housing Sales
The spread of the coronavirus and the fears associate with it sent bond yields tumbling, the average rate on the popular 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.23%, an 8-year low. The lower yields are buoying housing sales. The 30-year fixed loosely follows the yield on the 10-year Treasury, which is now at a record low.