Reminder: Monday, February 18th is a National Holiday to observe President’s Day. Nations Direct is closed and will not be accepting lock requests, nor publishing new rate sheets. Business will resume as normal on Tuesday.
Equities surged as the U.S. consumer outlook brightened and positive developments in China trade talks overshadowed lingering concerns about global growth. Treasury yields climbed, while the dollar pared gains after an early-morning rally.
The S&P 500 Index hit a 10-week high Friday, with all sectors gaining, on reports that the U.S. and China had reached consensus in principle on the main topics in their trade negotiations. U.S. consumer sentiment rebounded from a two-year low, further fueling the rally and bolstering the case that yesterday’s dire retail sales figures were out of sync with reality. Trade continues to dominate markets as the two sides race to reach a deal that would avert a tariff increase on Chinese goods by March 1. At the White House Friday, President Donald Trump said that the U.S. is “a lot closer” to a deal with China and that he might “extend the date.”
The picture in Washington remains cloudy, as Congress sent Trump legislation he said he’ll sign to avoid another government shutdown. His announcement Friday that he will declare a national emergency to get more federal money for a border wall met with muted reaction on Wall Street.