Stock prices pushed higher last week, as investors remained hyper-focused on any new developments with the U.S. trade negotiations with China.
The fourth quarter started with a mixed week for equities. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.92% for the week; the S&P 500, 0.33%. In contrast, the Nasdaq Composite improved 0.54%. Overseas stocks pulled back: the MSCI EAFE index dipped 2.60%.
Stocks retreated last week. Traders worried that the formal impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump might distract White House officials from their pursuit of a trade deal with China, and shift the focus of Congress away from consideration of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Also, news broke Friday that the White House was considering restricting levels of U.S.
Investors reacted to two major news items last week, one far more of a surprise than the other. The Federal Reserve did indeed make a rate cut, matching Wall Street expectations. Drone strikes on two of the world's largest oil fields brought a shock to the global oil market.
Stocks rose last week, with help from two developments: the announcement of further U.S.-China trade talks as well as August hiring and manufacturing numbers
Fears of an impasse in the U.S.-China trade dispute lessened last week. While additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports were scheduled to take effect on September 1, China's government communicated that it would refrain from taking retaliatory measures for the moment.
U.S. stock indices saw significant ups and downs last week, with traders looking for economic cues from Treasury yields and also developments in the tariff fight between the U.S. and China.
Stocks spent much of last week rebounding from a Monday drop that reflected nervousness about the U.S.-China trade fight. By Thursday's closing bell, the S&P 500 had regained all its Monday losses - but it descended again on Friday.
Last week, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time in more than a decade, in line with Wall Street's expectations. Ironically, stocks had their worst week of 2019.
Last week, investors assessed earnings and the initial estimate of second-quarter economic growth, while awaiting the Federal Reserve's next announcement about interest rates.