The financial markets were closed yesterday in observance of President’s Day. Stocks will appreciate the day off to rest, after charging ahead Friday on increased hopes for a trade deal between the U.S. and China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped over 440 points, or 1.7% Friday, while the Standard & Poor’s Index gained 1.1%. For the week as a whole, the major indices posted some healthy gains. The NASDAQ Composite gained 2.4%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 2.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was the leader of the pack, which rose 3.1%, and in doing so extended its weekly winning streak to eight straight.
These weekly gains came despite some negative news – including weaker-than-expected retail sales, a decline in industrial production, and earnings commentary from some blue chip companies that disappointed investors. The market was able to shrug these factors off and focus on instead on trade negotiations between the world’s two largest economies.
While details are still lacking, the tone surrounding US/China trade talks seems to be improving, and reports of progress are circulating. Negotiators are scheduled to resume discussions in Washington this week, which is viewed as a sign both sides are pushing for a deal, possibly before the March 1 deadline. Optimism around the future of trade along with a more accommodative stance from the Federal Reserve has propelled the market higher of late. The S&P 500 Index is now up over 10% so far this year and sentiment is much different than it was just a few short weeks ago. Remember, the market is much like the weather in New England – if you don’t like the current conditions just wait a little while and things will change!
All the best,
Southport Station Financial Management, LLC