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September 23, 2019 - Stocks Stage a Modest Retreat

| September 23, 2019
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The Week on Wall Street
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.

At Friday's closing bell, stocks wound up with weekly losses after news broke that Chinese trade officials were heading home from the U.S. sooner than planned. The S&P 500 retreated 0.51% week-over-week; the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.05%, and the Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.72%. In developed foreign markets, shares tracked by the MSCI EAFE index fell 0.31%.[1][2][3]

Another Quarter-Point Cut
Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee voted 7-3 to lower the benchmark interest rate by another 0.25%, to a range of 1.75% to 2.00%.

While traders looked for signs of future guidance on monetary policy, little emerged from the latest Fed policy statement and Fed chair Jerome Powell's subsequent press conference. The updated dot-plot forecast showed that seven Fed officials anticipated at least one more cut before 2020, while ten did not.[4]

Oil Prices Jump
As last week began, crude oil futures spiked in response to an attack that interrupted roughly 5% of the world's oil production. The value of West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, spiked 14.7% in a day, or $8.05 to $62.90 at Monday's close.

This was oil's biggest one-day leap since September 2008. Prices came down from there: Friday, WTI crude settled at $58.48.[5][6]

Final Thought

So, what day last week saw the biggest loss or gain for stocks? Not Monday, when the market absorbed news of the Saudi oil field strike. Not Wednesday, when the Fed rate cut occurred. Instead, it was Friday, when the S&P 500 lost only 0.49%. It just goes to show that stocks may ride through seemingly market-moving events with little daily change.[7]

THE WEEK AHEAD: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Tuesday: The Conference Board's September Consumer Confidence Survey.
Wednesday: August new home sales data from the Census Bureau.
Thursday: The federal government's third estimate of second-quarter economic growth.
Friday: August personal spending numbers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and September's final University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, measuring consumer confidence levels.

Source: Econoday, September 20, 2019
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.

THE WEEK AHEAD: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Tuesday: AutoZone (AZO), Cintas (CTAS), Nike (NKE)
Thursday: Accenture (ACN), Carnival (CCL), Micron Technology (MU)

Source: Zacks, September 20, 2019
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.


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International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.

The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.

The Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of stocks of technology companies and growth companies.

The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

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  1. https://www.marketwatch.com
  2. https://www.wsj.com
  3. https://quotes.wsj.com/
  4. https://www.reuters.com/
  5. http://www.marketwatch.com/
  6. https://money.cnn.com/
  7. http://money.cnn.com/
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