If there has been one constant over the last few months, it has to be the trade situation between the U.S. and China. And, not surprisingly, the trade war carried over into this week as well. Stocks both rallied and sank based on the various pieces of news relating to the trade war, increased tariffs, and whether a deal could be reached within the next few months. Last week, the feeling on the street was a definitive “no.” However, after positive news and encouraging tweets from President Trump over the weekend that seemed to change.
Nonetheless, the worries about the global economy and the potential for slowing economic growth managed to keep a lid on stocks over several days. This was made apparent as U.S. manufacturing contracted for the first time in nearly a decade. This, once again, caused volatility to reign, and equities experienced plenty of big swings. The latest news from the Federal Reserve didn’t help the situation either as the central bank appears mixed on whether it really needs to cut rates further, with several bankers questioning the initial rate cut in the first place.
One of the real bright spots this week was earnings. Several key retail stocks managed to report booming numbers. This was a complete reversal from the dismal retail picture last week. With decent data, stocks spent much of the week trending higher.
Still, the trend higher was a bumpy ride as several headwinds intensified.
Be sure to check out our previous Wrap here, when the yield curve managed to invert.