While a formal written agreement is pending and specifics are elusive, investors were generally happy with the de-escalation in the U.S.-China trade war after the prior week’s negotiations. Regardless of the outcome, U.S.-China relations are becoming increasingly tricky as U.S. corporations and Congress grapple with stances on Hong Kong’s fight for less Chinese oversight as well as China’s censorship policies. In other news, many of the Fed members speaking this week were in the spotlight as the Fed continues to balance the continued uncertainty of the trade war against being premature with another rate cut. Finally, a brief “pause” in the Turkish invasion of the Syrian border was announced on Thursday as the U.S. continues to remove troops from the region. However, by Friday, fighting resumed between Turkish forces and the Kurds.
U.S. stocks enjoyed an upswing last week on positive earnings reports and a relative calm in the Brexit and trade war sagas. Small-cap stocks, in particular, had a strong week – up 1.6% – after experiencing a rough third quarter. International value stocks also gained ground over the past few weeks after years of underperformance versus their growth-oriented counterparts. Bond prices rose slightly with lower yields in the shorter part of the yield curve and an uptick in the 10-Year U.S. Treasury which ended the week at 1.76%. This upward-sloping shape is typically indicative of a healthier market (as opposed to the inversion of the curve in the early fall which can be an early indicator of a recession).
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