The U.S. government will not be falling into another shutdown; President Trump signed a bipartisan spending bill that will keep the government funded through the fall. Inclusive of this spending bill is roughly $1.4 billion for border barriers; because this amount fell short of the President’s desired wall budget, he has declared the 32nd national emergency in effect – likely to face heavy legal scrutiny. Progress was made during trade talks this week between the U.S. and China which has added to investor confidence across the globe. A hint has been given that the March 2nd deadline of a trade truce could be extended.
U.S. stocks posted a strong gain during the week, notching its seventh advance in the past eight. U.S. small company equities led results among other asset classes with an impressive 4.4% weekly return. International developed stocks rose in near lockstep to domestic; however, emerging markets did not fair as well with the index posting a modest decline. Despite the national debt topping $22 trillion this week, Treasury yields have fallen on longer maturities over the past month – moving aggregate fixed income returns higher. Alternative strategies, often used for diversification, also gained with risk assets – led by commodities.