The President gave his State of the Union address Tuesday evening with an emphasis on bipartisanship and sticking with plans to build a border wall. He has been struggling with a way to secure funding for this national project which may increase the chances for another shutdown to occur following February 15th. Further news out of the White House suggests the President will not meet with Chinese leaders before the March 1st deadline of a trade truce, and the location has been set for the 2nd summit between the U.S. leader and North Korean leader, Kim Jung-un. The February 27-28 meeting will be held at the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.
U.S. stocks were able to secure another week of gains, although slight, despite the negative sentiment brewed over the trade meeting announcement. A formidable January return in addition to this past week have been enough to bring all trailing returns positive for domestic equities. International developed and emerging market stocks did not favor as well. Both had negative returns during the week; concerns of a global slowdown are becoming more evident – U.K. IHS Markit data fell to the lowest level of services growth in January, and a no deal Brexit remains at the top of mind for international markets.