Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through February 8th
Global stocks surged over the week on easing fears over the coronavirus. The S&P 500 rose 3.2% hitting a new record high during the week and the Dow climbed 3.1% over the week. Abroad, the FTSE All-World Ex-US surged 2.1% for the week. The 10-year Treasury yield edged up to finish at 1.58% to 1.55%. Oil prices continued to fall entering bear market territory ending the week at $50.32 a barrel.
Manufacturing unexpectedly improved in the US in January with the ISM manufacturing index moving back into expansion territory for the first time since July.
January factory surveys showed slower declines in output in Asia and Europe, however, the surveys were completed before coronavirus grew to impact global supply chains.
As part of its pledge to deliver on the purchase of US goods, China said it would cut tariffs on $75 billion worth of US goods in half from 10% to 5% and for other goods from 5% to 2.5%.
US hiring remained strong in January with 225,000 new hires. Unemployment rose to 3.6% from 3.5%, but that was a result of more people entering the job market. Wages also rose 3.1%, a slight increase from December.
Over half of S&P 500 firms have reported earnings to date and analysts project there will be modest earnings growth after multiple quarters of decline earnings.