Financial News and Portfolio Management Discussion through March 7th

Global stocks had a volatile week driven by the coronavirus and global leaders’ responses. The S&P 500 gained 0.7% and the Dow rose 1.8% over the week. Abroad, the FTSE All World Ex US edged up 0.3% for the week. Oil sank after Saudi Arabia and Russia couldn’t reach an agreement on production cuts. Oil fell 7.8% to finish at $41.28 a barrel. Investors continued to move to safe haven assets with the 10-year Treasury yield ending the week at an all-time low of 0.71%.

The OECD lowered its projection for global growth from 2.9% to 2.4% for 2020.

ISM said its US manufacturing index declined, but remained in expansion terror in February.

Manufacturing activity in China showed its largest slump on record in February and the country’s Purchasing Managers index fell to its lowest level since April 2004.

ECB Chief Lagarde said the central bank was ready to act to support the eurozone against the impact of the coronavirus.

The Fed announced an emergency 0.50% cut to the Fed Funds rate. They now target a range of 1.00% to 1.25%. It’s the first between meeting change to the Fed Funds rate since 2008 financial crisis.

US lawmakers reached an agreement on $8 billion in funds to help contain the coronavirus.

US service sector activity rose in February to the highest reading in over a year.

Mortgage rates hit their lowest level ever with the 30 year mortgage falling to 3.29%.

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