December 16th, 2019

THE WEEK ON WALL STREET

The U.S. and China announced a limited trade agreement last week. That news lifted U.S. and foreign stocks, leading to weekly gains.

Advancing 0.91% on the week, the Nasdaq Composite outperformed the S&P 500 (up 0.73%) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (up 0.43%). The MSCI EAFE index, measuring the performance of developed markets overseas, improved 0.42%.1,2

Phase-One Trade Deal Reached, December Tariffs Averted

Friday, White House and Chinese officials confirmed an agreement on what has been characterized as an initial step toward a larger trade pact. As a result of this phase-one deal, new U.S. tariffs (slated to go into effect on December 15) were canceled. The 15% tariffs (imposed on $110 billion of Chinese goods in September) now fall to 7.5%.

In return, China has committed to buying greater quantities of American crops, factory goods, and energy products.3

Fed Holds Steady on Short-Term Interest Rates

The last Federal Reserve meeting of the year brought no adjustment for the federal funds rate. The vote to leave short-term rates unchanged was unanimous.

After the meeting, Fed chair Jerome Powell told the media, “as long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with [our] outlook, the current stance of monetary policy will likely remain appropriate.” 4

Retail Sales Disappoint

Economists, surveyed by Bloomberg, expected a retail sales gain of 0.5% for November, but according to the Department of Commerce, the advance was only 0.2%. In a bright spot for analysts who wanted to see a strong start to the holiday shopping season, sales at online retailers rose 0.8% last month.5

Note: There will be no Weekly Economic Update next week, but we will be back on December 30 with a special “Year-in-Review” edition of the WEU. Have a happy holiday season!

Tip of the Week

When you schedule home repairs or home improvements, double-check that the contractor you hire is licensed, fully bonded, and insured. If that is not the case, you could be assuming unnecessary risk during their visit.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA

Tuesday: The Census Bureau offers a snapshot of November residential construction activity.

Thursday: A look at November existing home sales from the National Association of Realtors.

Friday: November personal spending data and the third estimate of third-quarter economic expansion from the federal government, plus the year’s final University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (which measures consumer confidence levels).

Source: Econoday, December 13, 2019
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.

THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS

Tuesday: FedEx (FDX)

Wednesday: General Mills (GIS), Micron Technologies (MU), Paychex (PAYX)

Thursday: Accenture (ACN), Nike (NKE)

Friday: CarMax (KMX)

Source: Zacks.com, December 13, 2019
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame, and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.
Quote of the Week

Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.”

SOMERSET MAUGHAM

Riddle of the Week

The more places I be, the less you can see. What am I?

LAST WEEK’S RIDDLE: Suppose you have two twins, three triplets and four quadruplets. How many people do you have?

ANSWER: 9. two twins are 2 people, three triplets are 3 people, and four quadruplets are 4 people. 2 + 3 + 4 = 9.

Valley Oak Wealth Management can be reached at 415.898.4439 info@valleyoakwm.com or ValleyOakWM.com

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Tim Russel is a Wealth Advisor with, and securities offered through, LPL Financial member FINRA/SIPC

This material does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results.  Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

CITATIONS:
1 – wsj.com/market-data [12/13/19]
2 – quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/MSCI%20GLOBAL/990300/historical-prices [12/13/19]
3 – marketwatch.com/story/trump-announces-phase-one-china-trade-deal-and-scraps-dec-15-tariffs-2019-12-13 [12/13/19]
4 – bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-12-11/fed-leaves-rates-unchanged-and-forecasts-show-no-change-in-2020 [12/11/19]
5 – bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-12-13/u-s-retail-sales-miss-forecasts-for-pickup-as-restaurants-drop [12/13/19]
CHART CITATIONS:
wsj.com/market-data [12/13/19]
quotes.wsj.com/index/XX/MSCI%20GLOBAL/990300/historical-prices [12/13/19]
quotes.wsj.com/index/SPX/historical-prices [12/13/19]
treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=yield [12/13/19]
treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=yieldAll [12/13/19]