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October is certainly living up to its spooky moniker. With the second week of trading, the historically bad month for stocks is turning into a dour one for investors. This week, an old foe continued to makes itself known. And we’re talking about the trade war between the U.S. and China.
Last week, stocks wobbled and moved slightly higher on optimism that talks would go well. However, earlier in the week, investors were doubtful after several statements from the Trump administration. Issues in Turkey and Syria also put a damper on the mood coming out of Washington and helped contribute to uneasiness for the week.
Elsewhere, economic data wasn’t too helpful either. A variety of metrics – from inflation and manufacturing data to consumer spending – came in lower than expected. With the data now slipping, investors have begun to seriously question how long the economy can keep moving forward. This attitude moved stocks lower.
Perhaps the only good news on the week was courtesy of the Fed. With the release of the FOMC meeting minutes and several speeches by the governors, it looks like another rate hike, as well as the start of quantitative easing, could be at hand. The news helped spread joy on Wall Street, but the real focus continued to be on U.S./Chinese trade relations.
And that made for some volatile trading all week.
Be sure to check out our previous Wrap here, when several factors hit the new month hard.