U.S. and World News
- The trade negotiation with China shifted to a more positive tone this week after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stated that the United States and China could reach a deal that “we could live with”. China’s foreign ministry stated that China has “good faith” to work with the United States to reach a deal. Some meaningful progress was made this week during a prolonged meeting that included China’s purchases of U.S. farm and energy products and expanded access to China’s markets. However, negotiations over forced U.S. technology transfer did not improve. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is expected to visit the United States in the near future for further negotiations.
- British Prime Minister Theresa May finds herself in a tough spot in the days leading up to the January 15th vote on her Brexit deal as a result of lawmakers restricting her tax-varying powers in the event of no agreement. The last vote on a Brexit deal was delayed as there was not enough support and things have failed to improve since. The pressure for a deal to be made grows by the day as the March 29th deadline nears.
- With no end in sight, the partial government shutdown now ties the record for longest in American history, on its 21st day. Effects of a lengthened government shutdown are forgone pay from millions of federal employees, delayed business permits and visas, delayed IPO’S, and mergers and acquisitions. Withheld pay from federal employees could potentially impact consumer spending, a significant portion of the United States economy. Fitch’s global head of sovereign ratings stated that the United States triple-A credit rating could be in question because of the inability to pass a budget. The two government parties remain at an impasse over President Trump’s request for border wall funding.
- • Stocks rose higher again this week as tensions with China have eased and the Fed provided some calming language regarding policy. The S&P 500 rose 2.58% and closed at 2,596. The Dow Jones increased 2.42% and closed at 23,996. Year to date, the S&P is up 3.63% and the Dow Jones is up 2.93%.
- Yields rose slightly this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.53% and 2.70%, respectively.
- The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose sharply this week. Prices jumped 6.41% and closed at $51.63 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 13.70%.
- The spot price of Gold rose 0.13% this week and closed at $1,287.68 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 0.40%.
- Initial jobless claims fell by 17,000 to 216,000 for the week. The four-week moving average of claims rose by 3,000 to 222,000. Claims fell by 3,000 in California and fell by 2,000 in Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey.
- The ISM non-manufacturing index fell by 3.1 points to 57.6 versus expectations for a reading of 58.5.
- The consumer price index (CPI) fell by 0.06% in December, in-line with expectations. The year-over-year rate rose 1.95% versus expectations of a 1.9% increase.
- Core CPI rose by 0.21% in December, in-line with expectations. The year-over-year rate rose by 2.21% in December, in-line with expectations.
Fact of the Week
- Today marks the 21st day of the government shutdown, which ties the shutdown spanning December 16, 1995 to January 6th, 1996 under President Bill Clinton as the longest shut down in history. During the ’95-’96 shutdown, the S&P 500 returned 0.156%. As of the close today, the S&P 500 is up 7.54% since the government shutdown at midnight on December 22. (Source: Bloomberg)
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