Relatively quiet news on the trade front allowed investors to focus on the first full week of third quarter corporate earnings reports, which generally came in better than expected. As a result, the S&P 500 rose 0.5% for the week to bring its gains for the year up to 19.1%. The Nasdaq increased 0.4% for the week and is now up 21.9% for the year, while the Russell 2000 (small-cap stocks) rallied a sharp 1.6% for the week, lifting its gains for the year to 13.9%.
Global equity markets posted healthy gains last week amid reports that a Brexit deal had been reached between the UK and European leaders. As a result, Developed Markets increased 1.1% for the week and is now up 12.2% for the year. Emerging Markets rose 1.2% for the week to bring its gains for the year to 6.0%.
US Economic data generally came in below expectations last week. Specifically, Retail Sales for September declined 0.3%, well below consensus, though August sales were revised higher to offset that. Measures of manufacturing activity for October dipped from September levels, slightly below expectations, while measures of Leading Indicators ticked down 0.1%.
Of Interest to Us
US Corporate earnings reports for the third quarter began last week amid generally low expectations, and results were notably better than expected. While only 15% of company's have reported thus, 84% of companies have exceeded earnings expectations, and 64% have exceeded sales forecasts, both well above historical norms. The Financial Sector appears to be the best sector thus far, which is notable given this year's interest rate declines.
for the week ending 10/18/2019
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