The Week on Wall Street

Stock benchmarks were little changed for much of last week, but a rally occurred Friday after news broke that the U.S. and China could be closing in on the first phase of a new trade pact.

At Friday’s close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 28,000 level. The Dow rose 1.17% for the week, outgaining the S&P 500 (which advanced 0.89%) and the Nasdaq Composite (which added 0.77%). The MSCI EAFE index, representing developed overseas stock markets, fell 0.77%.

Will There Be a Trade Breakthrough?

Friday, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross told the media that “in all likelihood,” a phase-one trade deal between China and the U.S. would presently happen, stating that the talks were “down to the last details.” Thursday evening, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow expressed similar optimism, noting that negotiations were “coming down to the short strokes.”

That said, the Wall Street Journal reported last week that President Trump is not yet committed to signing a phase-one trade deal. Secretary Ross noted that such an agreement would be “relatively limited in scope.”

Consumers Boost Their Buying

Retail sales advanced 0.3% in October, according to the Department of Commerce. That surpassed the 0.2% gain forecast by economists polled by MarketWatch. Even so, households bought fewer big-ticket items than they did in September.

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA

  • Wednesday

    Minutes from the October Federal Reserve meeting appear.
  • Thursday

    The National Association of Realtors presents data on October existing home sales.
  • Friday

    The University of Michigan publishes its final Consumer Sentiment Index for November (an assessment of consumer confidence).

Ken will be on Fox Business tomorrow on Making Money with Charles Payne, Tuesday, November 19, 2019.

MARIA


Medicare Update:

It’s that time of year again! You are most likely being inundated with mail and exposed to lots of radio and TV ads on different Medicare plans.

From October 15 through December 7, you will have the opportunity to decide whether your existing Medicare health plan will continue to be the most
Suitable in the New Year or if you will need a different health plan. Any plan change, once submitted and accepted, begins on January 1, 2020.

If you are confused and overwhelmed about finding the right health plan, consider calling Mark Brownstein at Emerald Medicare at 845-358-1220 or email Mark at mark@emeraldmedicare.com

Sources

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