The holiday-shortened week resulted in new all-time highs for the US Equity Markets, as news that China lowered import tariffs on hundreds of commodity products encouraged investors. The S&P 500 rose 0.6% for the week, bringing its gains for the year up to 29.3%. The Nasdaq increased 0.9% for the week, topping 9,000 for the first time in history; for the year the Nasdaq is now up 35.7%. The Russell 2000 (small-cap stocks) actually fell 0.2% for the week as small-caps underperformed, reducing its gains for the year to 23.8%.
Global equity markets continued their march higher as well last week, also boosted by encouraging trade news. Developed Markets increased 0.7% for the week to bring its gains for the year to 19.3%. Emerging Markets rose 1.0% for the week and are now up 15.8% for the year.
Oil prices rose for the fourth consecutive week, up 2.3% last week, as US crude inventories fell more than expected and optimism grows about the global economy given positive trade news. For the year, oil prices have increased 34.7%.
Of Interest to Us
Holiday Retail Sales from November 1st through December 24th increased 3.4% from last year according to Mastercard. This is notable in light of the fact that the holiday shopping season had six fewer days than last year due to the late date of Thanksgiving. Online shopping rose 19%, while in-store sales only increased 1.2%.
for the week ending 12/27/2019
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