Weekly Economic Update
Posted: December 2, 2019
The Week on Wall Street
As November wrapped up, U.S. equity benchmarks advanced. Stocks were again aided by a sense of optimism that a preliminary U.S.-China trade deal could be near.
For the week, the Nasdaq Composite added 1.87%; the S&P 500, 1.21%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 1.03%. The MSCI EAFE index, which measures the performance of developed stock markets outside North America, gained 0.89%.1,2
Markets Wait for News of a Trade Pact
Wednesday, a senior White House official told Politico that the U.S. was “millimeters away” from a phase-one trade agreement with China, a deal that might involve the removal of certain tariffs.
Still, friction remains within the Sino-American relationship. Last week, President Trump signed two bills into law backing pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs quickly reacted, stating that American lawmakers had “sinister intentions” and adding that China would take “strong counter-measures” in return.3,4
The Latest on Consumer Spending and Consumer Confidence
Personal spending was up 0.3% in October, according to the Department of Commerce. This happened even with no gain in household incomes.
The Conference Board said that its Consumer Confidence Index came in at 125.5 for November. Even though it has declined for four straight months, the index remains well above levels seen during the first half of the decade.5,6
Tip of the WeekIn business travel, a little thriftiness is a plus. Plan your business trips as if you are paying for them out of pocket.
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