Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through February 1st

Global stocks sank over the week on fears that the coronavirus will dent global growth.  The S&P 500 fell 2.1% and the Dow declined 2.5% over the week.  Abroad, the FTSE All-World Ex-US dropped 3.2% for the week.  The 10-year Treasury yield fell over the week falling from 1.83% to 1.55% as investors flocked to safe-haven investments.  Oil prices continued to drop on fears of weaker economic growth falling 4.9% over the week to finish at $51.56 a barrel.

The Fed made no changes to its benchmark interest rate at the conclusion of its January meeting stating they are “comfortable with (their) current policy stance.”

The US economy grew at a 2.1% pace in the fourth quarter resulting in a 2.3% pace for 2019.  The rate of growth is relatively in line with the levels seen since the current expansion began in 2009.

The Bank of England elected to keep its benchmark rate steady at its most recent meeting.

The UK finally exited the EU and entered into a transition period of at least 11 months where it will negotiate its formal relationship with the country bloc.

Business activity fell to its lowest point in roughly four years well below expectations.


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