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The Market Wrap for January 10: New Tensions Come to the Forefront

Aaron Levitt Jan 10, 2020

Just as investors were rejoicing in the potential end to the trade war, a new threat entered the market this week. Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have moved beyond just the saber-rattling phase, with airstrikes and missile launches conducted by both. After the U.S. made a surprise attack on a key Iranian official, the threat of war is now in the forefront of investors’ minds. This potential threat – and the fallout – may have dominated trading activity this week. As investors digested each piece of news, the markets reacted accordingly making for some choppy trading throughout much of the week.

Elsewhere, investors looked toward key economic data to gauge the fate of the U.S. economy in the new year. With the new month beginning, investors were treated to some very important gauges of the service economy health as well as the consumer economy. As expected, many of the numbers came in strong, albeit less so than in previous readings. This continued to provide a sense of uncertainty during the week’s trading.

While the official earnings season has not yet started, investors were treated to several reports from key retailers this week. Here again, the divide between the haves and have nots in the sector continues to grow. Investors greatly rewarded those that beat, while punishing those that continued to suffer in the new omnichannel environment.

All in all, the tensions between the U.S. and Iran dominated the week. Stocks did eventually grind higher over the trading sessions, but not without a hefty dose of volatility.

Be sure to check out our previous Wrap here, when traders began the new year with renewed speculations around the pace of U.S economic growth.

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