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Financial and Economic Brief - February 4, 2020
• Continued Gains in Consumer Spending - The U.S. economy grew 2.1% in Q4 of 2019, closing out a year in which GDP decelerated to its slowest pace in three years.
• Chinese Shares Drop amid Coronavirus - Stock markets in China fell as traders rushed to sell amid continued fears about the impact on the global economy of the coronavirus epidemic.
• Oil Prices Fall - Oil prices fell because of the concern over demand in China after the coronavirus epidemic.
Financial and Economic Brief - January 7, 2020
• Consumer Confidence Dips - According to The Conference Board, U.S. consumer confidence “dipped slightly” in December. The metric came in at 126.5 for the month, down from 126.8 in November.
• Oil Prices Rising - Oil prices rose over 1% on Monday, pushing Brent above $70 a barrel.
• Gold Highest in 7 Years - Global investors are going into safe haven assets as fallout continues from the U.S. killing of Iran’s top general, Qasem Soleimani.
Financial and Economic Brief - December 3, 2019
• Moderate Growth in Q3 - The U.S. economy grew at a moderate 2.1% rate over the summer, slightly faster than first estimated.
• OPEC to Deepen Cuts - OPEC and its allies plan to deepen oil cuts and have the deal in place so it runs at least until June 2020.
• Tariff Threat Renewed - President Trump announced that the U.S. will “restore” steel and aluminum tariffs on Brazil and Argentina, citing a “massive devaluation of their currencies.”
Financial and Economic Brief - November 5, 2019
• Consumer Confidence “Dips” - U.S. consumer confidence fell slightly in Oct. to 125.9 from a Sept. reading of 126.3 as worries over business conditions & employment prospects rose.
• Gannett and New Media Investment Group - Gannett reported its 3rd quarter earnings noting a continued decline in overall revenue but pointed to an increase in its marketing services & digital subscriptions.
• U.S.-China Trade Optimism - Technology stocks pushed the 3 main indexes to record highs, as hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal & an improving domestic economy raised risk appetite.
Financial and Economic Brief - October 8, 2019
• Unemployment Rate Falls - Unemployment hit a 50-yr. low in September even though nonfarm payrolls rose by just 136,000 as the economy nears full employment.
• Impeachment and the Stock Market - The launch of an impeachment inquiry into President Trump tosses another wild card into a volatile stock market.
• Trade Talks Underway - U.S. & Chinese deputy trade negotiators launched a new round of talks on Monday aimed at resolving the 15-mo. trade war, with neither side showing any signs of giving ground.
October 2019 Market Update
In this month’s recap: The Fed cuts interest rates, the price of oil spikes, & trade negotiations between the U.S. & China are rescheduled.
THE MONTH IN BRIEF
September brought an economic event that was widely expected: a 1/4 point cut in short-term interest rates by the Federal Reserve. It also brought an attack on two of the world’s largest oil fields that threatened to dent global crude output. A resumption of U.S.-China trade talks was scheduled for Oct., and White House officials decided to delay some planned tariff increases.
September 2019 Economic Update
Presented by Mark Herding, CFP®, Sept. 2019
In this month’s recap: stocks descend as traders respond to the devaluation of the Chinese yuan as well as new developments in the ongoing U.S.-China trade talks; the price of gold rises, & bond yields fall.
THE MONTH IN BRIEF
The stock market had a tumultuous August, reacting to sudden devaluation of the Chinese yuan & escalation of the trade dispute between the U.S. & China. Ultimately, investors seemed more interested in risk aversion: the S&P 500 lost 1.81% for the month.
Financial and Economic Brief - September 4, 2019
• Recent Jobless Claims Fall - Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped to 209,000 for the week ended August 17, 2019, falling sharply from the week before.
• Brexit Crisis Still Uncertain - British lawmakers will try to stop Boris Johnson from pursuing what they cast as a “calamitous no-deal Brexit”.
• New Wave of Tariffs in Trade War - The new tariffs are a sharp escalation in the trade war, and could cost U.S. households $800 a year.