Despite being a shortened week – thanks to the President’s Day holiday – there was plenty of news. And nearly all of it positive. This week was much like the last, as trade was the main driver for the markets. Talks have progressed positively between the U.S. and China about either ending the trade war or kicking the can on the deadline for additional tariffs on more than $250 billion worth of Chinese goods. The trade spat has continued to be one of the major sources of volatility in the markets. The thought of it ending continued to be a positive one for traders.
With the release of the FOMC minutes, the Fed’s cautious and still bullish undertone was seen as indicating the central bank will keep rates steady for a while. That naturally helped push equites higher on the week.
Also helping extend gains in the shortened trading week were continued bullish earnings reports by several bellwethers. As before, earnings growth remains swift and outlooks still remain decent. Adding in generally positive economic data, and traders were treated to gains on the week.
Be sure to check out our previous Wrap here, when trade was also the main driver.