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A Sad Week for the US

Volatility continued with major U.S. equity indices ending the week in the red. During the week, the U.S. also observed a national day of mourning marking the passing of President George H. W. Bush. The DJIA, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ were all down more than 4% for the week. Fixed income assets provided investors a safe-haven last week (although they are still negative YTD) as rates dropped sharply for the week. The yield on the 10 year U.S. Treasury fell to 2.85% from 3.01% the week prior.

International equities also declined with developed markets off 2.25% and emerging markets down 1.3%. However, in November, $34 billion in investor funds flowed into emerging stocks and bonds after one of the worst selloffs in years. The emerging market stock index is now up 5% from its October low.

Last week, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) reported their manufacturing and non-manufacturing producer price indexes (PMI), and both releases exceeded expectations for November. The U.S. economy added 155,000 jobs in November – below expectations of 198,000. As a result, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7%, while wage growth kept its healthy pace of 3.1% y/y. Despite seemingly positive economic releases, investors seem most concerned about trade, Brexit and monetary policy.

This week look for economic reports on inflation, retail sales and industrial production. Also, the focus will be on hints as to whether the Fed will raise interest rates next week. There have been some indications that the Fed may not raise rates in 2019 as many times as previously thought.

“We are a nation of communities … a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.”George H. W. Bush

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