On Friday, US equities enjoyed gains across the board. The S&P500 closed 4.4 points higher at 3,122.4 which translates to a 0.14% gain. Although it’s a measly gain, it does mark the sixth consecutive week of the index being in the green. This is the longest winning streak that it has posted in two years.
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Disappointing US data
Economic data from the US missed forecasts. Industrial production declined by 0.8% which was wider than the 0.4% forecast. The Empire State Manufacturing Index also disappointed market consensus when it showed that manufacturing activity in New York is slowing with the report printing at 2.9 versus the 6.1 forecast. Meanwhile, consumer spending reports were mixed. The headline number came in higher at 0.3% versus the 0.1% estimate and the core reading, which excludes the prices of volatile items, disappointed expectations at 0.2% versus 0.3%.
Optimism surrounding a US-China trade deal was the main catalyst for the gain in equities. It was reported that the US and China had “constructive talks” over tariff negotiations on Friday. This news follows after White House Chief Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow announced that they were “getting close” to a deal earlier last week.
Tech companies Microsoft and Alphabet (Google’s parent company), which are heavily-weighted in the S&P500, rose to record-highs on Friday at $150.53 (+1.29%) and $1,338.97 (+1.89%), respectively.
There are no economic reports due from the US today which means that stock indices will likely be dictated by market sentiment. News about the US-China trade deal not happening soon will trigger a flight to safety and could cause S&P500 to drop to its previous highs at 3,096.1. On the other hand, developments around a trade deal will relieve some uncertainty in the markets and could push the index to new highs.Download our latest quarterly market outlookfor our longer-term trade ideas.
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