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Weekly Economic Update

Posted: November 18, 2019

The Week on Wall Street

Stock benchmarks were little changed for much of last week, but a rally occurred Friday after news broke that the U.S. and China could be closing in on the first phase of a new trade pact.

At Friday’s close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 28,000 level. The Dow rose 1.17% for the week, outgaining the S&P 500 (which advanced 0.89%) and the Nasdaq Composite (which added 0.77%). The MSCI EAFE index, representing developed overseas stock markets, fell 0.77%.1,2

Will There Be a Trade Breakthrough?

Friday, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross told the media that “in all likelihood,” a phase-one trade deal between China and the U.S. would presently happen, stating that the talks were “down to the last details.” Thursday evening, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow expressed similar optimism, noting that negotiations were “coming down to the short strokes.”

That said, the Wall Street Journal reported last week that President Trump is not yet committed to signing a phase-one trade deal. Secretary Ross noted that such an agreement would be “relatively limited in scope.”3,4

Consumers Boost Their Buying

Retail sales advanced 0.3% in October, according to the Department of Commerce. That matched the gain forecast by economists polled by MarketWatch. This was a comeback after a September decline.5

Tip of the Week

Do you have a life insurance policy outside of work? Do you know who its beneficiary is? From time to time, you want to periodically review your beneficiary decisions, to make sure you still agree with them.


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CITATIONS. 
1 - wsj.com/market-data [11/15/19]
2 - quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/990300/historical-prices [11/15/19]
3 - bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-15/kudlow-says-phase-one-china-deal-down-to-the-short-strokes-k2zgbx0k [11/15/19]
4 - foxbusiness.com/politics/u-s-china-trade-deal-near-but-trump-not-signing-yet [11/15/19]
5 - marketwatch.com/story/us-retail-sales-rebound-in-october-but-a-small-group-of-stores-reap-most-of-the-gains-2019-11-15 [11/15/19]
11182019-LA-3089

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