Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through December 15th

Global stocks sank over the week on continuing concerns over global growth.  The S&P 500 was down 1.3% and the Dow fell 1.2% for the week.  Internationally, Europe gained 0.6%, while Japan dropped 1.4% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury edged up to end the week at 2.89%.  Oil declined 2.7% to $51.20 a barrel.

UK Prime Minister May postponed a vote in parliament of her negotiated Brexit agreement throwing into doubt whether it will be approved.

Industrial production in China in November slowed more than expected and retail sales growth fell by the most in over 15 years.

French business production contracted for the first time in two and a half years and Germany’s purchasing managers index reached its lowest level in four years.

China sought to ease trade tensions by agreeing to lower tariffs for cars and purchase greater amounts of US crops.

Inflation was flat in November and up 2.2% from a year earlier compared to 2.5% in October.  Core prices rose 0.2%.

The ECB announced it was ending its bond purchase program, but lowered its forecast for growth by 0.1% for 2019 and 2020.  They did announce they would hold on to their bond portfolio for “an extended period of time.”


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