A year-end rally in global equity markets extended gains last week, helped by data showing positive US growth. The Commerce Department noted that gross domestic product (GDP) increased at a 2.1% annualized rate in the third quarter and consumer spending came in stronger than expected. This helped to push the S&P 500 to its longest positive streak in more than two years. The Dow and Nasdaq also hit record highs.
China said it will reduce tariffs 1/1/20 on more than 850 goods, leading the Shanghai Composite Index to fall 1.4% overnight. It will also cut import levies for more than 8,000 products for 23 countries that have free-trade agreements with China. While the tariff reduction is not directly linked to the American trade war, it will likely guarantee that the coming Phase One trade deal with the U.S. doesn't invite complaints from other trading partners.
Brexit moved forward in Britain with Boris Johnson’s sweeping election victory. Johnson won approval for his deal in Parliament, the first step towards fulfilling his election pledge to remove Britain from the EU by 1/31/20. The pound fell sharply by almost 3% down to $1.30, worst weekly fall since 2016.
And while you are unwrapping all of that new holiday technology under your tree, Apple, Amazon and Google have set aside their differences to make their home devices compatible, so Siri can talk to Alexa and so on…
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you!
US Economy – The Week Ahead
- Markets closing early for Christmas Eve
- Durable Goods Orders Month-over-Month Growth (Preliminary) – Consensus Estimate: 2.3%, Prior Month: 0.53%
- S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index Year-over-Year Growth – Consensus Estimate: 2.1%, Prior Month: 2.1%
- Markets closed for Christmas
- Initial Jobless Claims – Consensus Estimate: 215,000 (-8.1% WoW), Prior Week: 234,000 (-7.1% WoW)