Blog Post

Wealth Management

Trade Deal Uncertainty

Stock indexes had modest gains for the week as traders focused on progress towards a phase 1 trade agreement.  The U.S. and China appeared to be moving closer to a trade deal.  However, many details remain unsettled, such as conflicting claims between the U.S. and China on rolling back tariffs.  Also a date and location for signing remains to be determined.

The yield on the 10-year treasury rose to 1.943% and the U.S. Dollar rose against a basket of currencies.  Gold fell sharply to $1459.70 an ounce and oil fell to $57.41 a barrel.

In economic numbers this week:

  • IHS Markit reported its U.S. Services PMI seasonally adjusted fell from 50.9 in September to 50.6 in October.  Still expansion but at a slower rate of acceleration.
  • The private Caixin/Markit Services Purchasing Manager’s Index fell from 51.3 in September to 51.1 in October.
  • The Commerce Department reported
    • Durable goods orders declined 0.6% in September.  Excluding transportation, durable goods orders fell only 0.1%.  Non-defense aircraft orders, a volatile component, fell 11.8%, largely due to the extended grounding of the 737 Max airplane.
    • The total U.S. trade deficit shrank in September by 4.7%.  Both imports and exports fell but imports make a larger proportion of trade.  With China the trade deficit fell 3%.
  • The Labor Department reported
    • First time claims for unemployment fell 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 211,000.  The four week moving average of claims increased to 215,250.
    • Non-Farm productivity fell a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in the third quarter.  However from a year earlier productivity rose 1.4%.
  • The EIA weekly oil report is here: wpsrsummary.  Also, the EIA reported in the past week:
    • Field production of crude oil was unchanged at 12.6MM barrels per day.
    • Natural gas storage increased by 34BN cubic feet and is and is slightly above the five year average at this time of year.
  • Factset reported with 89% of S&P 500 companies reporting Q3earnings, the blended earnings decline was 2.4%.  75% of companies have beaten their estimates which is above the five year average.
  • Baker Hughes reported the number of active oil rigs fell 7 to 684 and the number of active gas rigs was unchanged at 130.

Please call us if you have any questions.

Best Regards,

Loren C. Rex, CFP®, AIF®, MA                                                       Erik A Smith

President                                                                                               Managing Partner

Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management           269-441-4143

77 E. Michigan Ave, Suite 140

Battle Creek, MI  49017

Tel 269-441-4090

Carrie Fuce, Assistant 269-441-4091

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Registered Representative of and securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC.  Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Cambridge and Generations Financial Planning & Wealth Management are separate companies and are not affiliated.

These are the opinions of Loren Rex and Erik Smith and are not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice.  The Indices mentioned are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.


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