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Mark Hemingway

Mortgage Market Update for October 13th

Thursday, October 15, 2020 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC - Message

As the nation continues to reopen, small business optimism increases despite several states not fully back to business. The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 3.8 points to 104.0, just below record highs after the low levels seen in March, April and May. The report went on to read that owners expecting better business conditions over the next 6 months increased 8 points to a net 32% while real sales expectations in the next 3 months rose 5 points to a net 8%. NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said, "Some small businesses are still struggling financially to operate at full capacity while navigating state and local regulations and are uncertain about what will happen in the future."

Corporate quarterly earnings season kicked off this week with JPMorgan Chase reporting better-than-expected earnings with slightly weaker revenues. Citigroup and investment firm Black Rock also delivered good numbers. The numbers will continue to stream in over the course of the next month and will give investors a look into what lies beyond the financial devastation caused by the pandemic-induced shutdown.

Gas prices at the pumps remained unchanged this week and below levels seen last year due to an abundance of oil supply flowing through the world's pipelines which is outweighing demand. The national average price for a regular gallon of gasoline is $2.18, down from $2.63 a year. The all-time high price was seen in July 2008. The price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate oil is at $40. In January 2020, the price was $66.

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