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November 18, 2019

Record Close Helped Stocks to 6th Straight Weekly Gain Last Week, Rates Signal More Caution

 

Another day, another record. The S&P 500 once again closed at an all-time high on Friday after White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow said that a phase one trade deal between the US and China was in its final stages. That optimism has been somewhat tempered this morning as reports emerged that Beijing is pessimistic about the likelihood a trade deal. Despite all the volatility from trade uncertainty, last week marked the 6th straight weekly again for the S&P 500. Rates markets have been somewhat less optimistic, the 10-year Treasury falling about 10 basis points on the week to 1.83%.

 

 

Hong Kong protests move back into focus as hundreds are trapped in a university siege. A two day siege has trapped hundreds of protestors in a university campus where they remain surrounded by police. The siege comes after the most violent week in the city’s ongoing political crisis, and sets the stage for a potential crackdown by the mainland Chinese government. While the protests have yet to seriously impact trade negotiations if the US is forced to condemn China’s actions it may break the fragile truce between the world’s largest economies. Chinese equities rallied across the board in spite of the instability, the CSI 300 and Hang Seng rising 0.80% and 1.35% respectively.

 

 

2020 outlook. As 2019 comes near an end, economists are beginning to publish their forecasts for 2020. Consensus calls for ~2% growth in the US economy during 2020. That 2% figure would roughly equal potential growth, and would be aided by what many economists expect will be an increase in business investment that has remained low in 2019. Economists also expect the Fed to remain patient, leaving rates unchanged until later in the year when they are largely expected to resume easing. That forecast matches the market’s expectations as well, Fed Funds futures currently indicate that the Fed won’t cut rates until June 2020.

 

 

 

 

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