Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through June 16th

US stocks were mixed over the week as trade war fears mounted.  The S&P 500 edged up less than 0.1% and the Dow fell 0.9% for the week.  Internationally, Europe gained 1.0% and Japan rose 0.7% for the week.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury remained at 2.93%.  Oil fell to $65.06 a barrel for its fourth straight weekly decline.

President Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to discuss nuclear disarmament.

The Trump administration is moving forward with tariffs on Chinese goods within the next week.  China is retaliating against US tariffs with tariffs of their own on US exports.  They will levy 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of US goods to equal the US move.

At the Fed’s June meeting they voted to raise the fed funds rate a quarter percentage point to a range of 1.75%-2.0%.  It’s the second increase this year and at the meeting they signaled they expected to raise the rate two more times this year. Article

The ECB said it would end its bond buying program by the end of the year, but that it wouldn’t consider raising rates until September 2019.

Eurozone growth was 0.4% in the first quarter down from 0.7% in the fourth quarter.

US retail spending jumped 0.8% in May, the largest increase in six months.

The Bank of Japan elected to continue with ultra-easy monetary policies.

A judge approved the merger of AT&T and Time Warner, a historic defeat for the justice department, and sets of the potential for a wave of merger activity in the media industry.

Tesla announced it was cutting roughly 9% of its workforce.  Article

In the wake of the AT&T Time Warner judgement Comcast made an unsolicited bid for most of 21st Century Fox’s assets for $65 billion kicking off a bidding war between it and Disney.  Article



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