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The Market Wrap For January 18: A Critical Earnings Season Begins

It’s no secret that the market’s direction has all been news-driven. The news about the trade war, the news about interest rates, the news about the government shutdown – it’s all driven the boat. And now that news cycle has turned to earnings. This week marked the return of the so-called earnings season, with several bellwethers reporting their fourth-quarter and year-end numbers.

This earnings season will be key as investors look for any signs that the economy has begun to slow. So far, this week hasn’t provided a real direction either. The market continued its streak of volatility, rising and falling, as several stocks reported mixed numbers.

Also showing a mixed picture this week was economic data. Several key measures of manufacturing, labor and consumer data continued to weaken, albeit still showing bullish numbers. With this data being mixed, investors were forced to once again deal with large market swings.

All in all, the week was driven by the mixed earnings picture, and investors will continue to look for clues over the next few weeks as more firms report.

Be sure to check out our previous Market Wrap here, when trade drove the show.

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