The partial shutdown of the U.S. government continued this week, entering its 28th day as the war of words between Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and President Trump continued to heat up.
Markets remained volatile this week as the U.S. government shutdown continued, tying the record for the longest such shutdown in U.S. history. Contentious meetings between members of Congress and President Trump failed to make any headway in attempts to resolve the standoff over funding for his wall along the Mexican border.
It was a shortened week due to the timing of New Year but 2019 got under way with a clear picture of just how dysfunctional and gridlocked the U.S. government is going to be over the remainder of President Trump’s term, now that the Democrats have control of the House of Representatives.
1. The ongoing chaos and gridlock in the U.S. government continued to foster an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty this week, keeping volatility in the equity markets alive and well. Stocks were on track for their worst December since the Great Depression in the 1930s. 2. The seasonally adjusted number of Americans filing initial claims…
Volatility in the global equities markets continued as weaker-than-expected economic data and the chaos surrounding Brexit fanned fears that the globally connected economy is headed for a slowdown.
Volatility continued this week ahead of the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires this coming weekend. Trade frictions continued between the U.S. and China and new developments between Russia and Ukraine added to further global unease.
It was a short trading week in the U.S. due to the Thanksgiving holiday. U.S. markets were closed on Thursday, and opened for a shortened day on Friday as retailers geared up for a hoped-for rush of shoppers to kick off the holiday shopping season.
Devastating wildfires in California were the latest disaster to strike the United States. The raging fires followed almost directly on the heels of two major hurricanes that had devastating impacts on Florida as well as much of the eastern seaboard. The scale of the economic impact due to the damage of this year’s natural disasters won’t be known for months, if not years. In the markets, volatility remained elevated amid indications of slowing global growth.
Mid-term elections in the U.S. were the big news of the week and the results will likely mean that governmental gridlock in Washington, D.C. will return in full. Republicans maintained control of the Senate, but the Democrats have taken the majority in the House of Representatives.
Trade and tariff impacts combined with ongoing tensions in the Middle East to continue rattling markets this week. Technology stocks in particular struggled as earnings season begins to wind down. Several big tech names, like Apple, and Alphabet (formerly Google) either missed on their earnings expectations or announced things during their conference calls that spooked investors.