A new estimate of economic growth for the fourth quarter came in lower than originally measured at 2.2%, bringing the rate of expansion for the entire year below 3%; economists cite the effects of the tax break abating and global uncertainty around domestic trade policy as contributors to the decline. Friday was meant to be the day of Brexit, however, an extension to the deadline is still in effect as British lawmakers and key officials struggle to find common ground on a path forward. U.S. and China trade discussions were “very productive” this week according to Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, as the world’s two largest economies continue to break ground on a years long trade battle.
Investors were clamoring for the first public access to the hot ride-hailing market this week with Lyft’s Friday IPO. Shares surged as high as 23% above its IPO price of $72 before closing approximately 8.7% higher. U.S. stocks are set to close out one of the best quarters since 2009 with a greater than 13% return in the past 3-months for large company stocks pegged by the S&P 500 index. Small cap and international equities are similarly riding a positive wave in 2019 all closing the quarter out with strong gains. Interest rates remain on their path downward based on further reiteration of a paused Fed and growth concerns.
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