Weekly Market Update – February 25, 2019

Last Week

  • Manufacturing Metrics Fall Across the Board –  Slowing economic growth expectations for 2019 have been realized through the drop in flash Purchasing Managers’ Index as Japan, Germany, and Europe all fell below the dividing line (50) between improving and declining economic conditions.
  • Fed Minutes Discuss End of Balance Sheet Reduction – The Federal Reserve meeting minutes from January signaled that the majority of officials would like to finish reducing the $4 trillion balance sheet in the second half of the year.
  • Walmart Reveals Largest Rise in Holiday Sales in Past 15 Years – As the largest retailer in the U.S., Walmart’s (WMT) success in the recent holiday season relieved investors’ fears about the state of retail after the sharp drop in retail sales reported the week prior.

This Week

  • Home Depot, Berkshire Hathaway Report Earnings – About 10% of S&P 500 Index companies are left to report earnings with the majority of the companies coming from the consumer discretionary sector.
  • March 1 Tariff Escalation Date Approaches – Officials from the U.S. and China are likely to continue negotiating leading up to the March 1 tariff escalation deadline.
  • Powell Testimony May Unveil More Balance Sheet Clues – January’s Fed minutes mentioned officials agreeing the reduction of the balance sheet should end in the second half of 2019 but left out specific details on the plans.



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