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While trade has been the topic du jour for the last few weeks, this week investors turned their attention towards the U.S. economy.
Data and the Federal Reserve drove the show. Overall, economic data has been pretty positive this year and that’s allowed the Federal Reserve to ratchet up key benchmark interest rates. Heading into this week and the latest FOMC meeting, traders expected the Fed to raise once again. The question was just how much and what the so-called “Fed speak” would bring.
Leading up to the Fed’s decision on rates, the markets were a bit rocky as trade still reared its ugly head. Continued strong data across consumer, industrial and employment sectors weren’t enough to keep the week trending in a positive direction. Stocks managed to decline all week.
Helping this week were pretty buyout earnings reports. While earnings season has died down and the number of firms reporting has slowed to a trickle, there still are several main blue chips announcing numbers. And those numbers, as well as key guidance figures, have been great.
All in all, the bad outweighed the good. While traders initially seemed pleased with the Fed’s decision to raise rates, it didn’t last and the threat of the trade war persisted.
Be sure to check out our previous week’s Wrap here, to see how trade has continued to be the main market driver.