THE WEEK ON WALL STREET
The S&P 500 came within 0.1% of a record close Friday. Stocks were lifted last week by positive news on U.S.-China trade negotiations, plus earnings announcements. The Nasdaq Composite posted the largest weekly gain of the three major U.S. stock indices. It rose 1.90%. Last week also brought gains of 0.70% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and 1.22% for the S&P. The MSCI EAFE, a benchmark for developed stock markets outside the U.S., rose 1.14%.
ANOTHER HINT OF PROGRESS IN TRADE TALKS
Friday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative stated that parts of a new trade deal with China were near completion. No specifics were given as of Friday’s close, but the USTR noted that negotiators had “made headway” on key issues. Analysts think both sides may cancel certain tariffs as part of a deal. President Trump has said that he would like to sign a new trade accord with China’s President, Xi Jinping, next month.
A GAIN FOR CONSUMER SENTIMENT
Rising to a final October mark of 95.5, the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index advanced 2.3 points month-over-month. During August and September, the index’s level varied from 89.8 to 93.2.
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: The Conference Board presents its October Consumer Confidence Index.
Wednesday: The Federal Reserve makes its latest statement on monetary policy, and Automatic Data Processing (ADP) publishes its October private-sector payrolls report.
Thursday: The Department of Commerce offers September consumer spending data.
Friday: November begins with the Department of Labor’s October jobs report and the Institute for Supply Management’s newest Purchasing Managers Index for the factory sector, a gauge of U.S. manufacturing activity.
THE WEEK AHEAD: NOTEABLE COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Monday: AT&T (T), Alphabet (GOOG), HSBC (HSBC)
Tuesday: Amgen (AMGN), BP (BP), Mastercard (MA), Merck (MRK), Pfizer (PFE)
Wednesday: Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Starbucks (SBUX)
Thursday: Altria (MO), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Sanofi (SNY)
Friday: AbbVie (ABBV), Alibaba (BABA), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), Chevron (CVX), ExxonMobil (XOM)
The Federal Reserve meets this week. Will it make another interest rate cut? And if it does, could it be the last rate cut for a while? Traders will study the language of the statement and listen carefully to Fed chair Jerome Powell’s Wednesday press conference for clues.