December 13, 2019

The Federal Open Market Committee left short-term interest rates unchanged and indicated that the current stance of monetary policy was “appropriate” to support economic growth, a strong job market and inflation near the Fed’s 2% goal. The revised dot plot showed that 13 of 17 senior Fed officials anticipate no change in rates in 2020.

As anticipated, the U.S. and China reached a trade truce. The U.S. will not raise tariffs on the remaining $160 billion in Chinese goods, which had been set to go into effect on December 15. However, the agreement does not roll back previous tariffs.

Along party lines, the House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump, but few see any chance that the Senate will have the two-thirds majority needed to remove the president from office.

On the economic data front, consumer price inflation was about as anticipated, but retail sales results for November fell a bit short of expectations (the seasonal adjustment accounts for the late Thanksgiving, but it’s difficult to get that right).

Next week, industrial production should rebound from the effects of the GM strike. The third estimate of GDP growth should be little changed from the previous estimate. November personal income and spending figures will help to fill in the picture for 4Q19 GDP.

Indices

  Last Last Week YTD return %
DJIA 28132.05 27677.79 20.60%
NASDAQ 8717.32 8570.70 31.83%
S&P 500 3168.57 3117.43 26.40%
MSCI EAFE 1983.83 1969.77 15.35%
Russell 2000 1644.81 1614.83 22.06%