THE WEEK ON WALL STREET
Domestic and international stocks rose last week. Risk appetite outweighed concerns about the state of U.S.-China trade discussions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq Composite, S&P 500, and MSCI EAFE all ended the week with gains. Blue chips led the way, as the Dow added 1.22%. The Nasdaq improved 1.06%; the S&P, 0.85%. The EAFE, tracking developed stock markets away from North America, was up 0.76%. The Dow recorded its third straight weekly gain; the S&P, its fifth.
WILL TARIFFS PHASE OUT OR REMAIN?
Thursday, a spokesman for China’s commerce ministry said that U.S. and Chinese trade representatives had “agreed to remove” existing tariffs in “phases,” while working toward a new trade deal. On Friday morning, President Trump told the media that he had not agreed to any such condition. President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are still expected to sign off on “phase one” of a new bilateral trade agreement.
SERVICE SECTOR ACTIVITY PICKS UP
A closely watched index of U.S. business activity posted an October gain. The Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Managers Index for non-manufacturing firms rose nearly two points last month to 54.7. ISM also noted an increase for new orders in October. As most U.S. companies provide services rather than manufacture products, this news is encouraging and suggests more momentum in that sector.
THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Wednesday: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell begins two days of testimony on the country’s economic outlook in Congress, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics presents new inflation data in the October Consumer Price Index.
Friday: October retail sales figures arrive from the Census Bureau.
THE WEEK AHEAD: NOTABLE COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Tuesday: Praxair (LIN), Tyson Foods (TSN)
Wednesday: Cisco (CSCO)
Thursday: Applied Materials (AMAT), Nvidia (NVDA), Walmart (WMT)
Today is Veterans Day; the stock market will be open, but the bond market, plus all federal government offices, will be closed. To those who served, we thank you and your families for your patriotism.
We’ve also had some questions about the presidential election cycle and how it may affect the markets. We are putting together a special report which will outline this in the next few days.