Ivan Gruhl, Chief Investment Officer, HK Financial Services
Overview: Stocks in the U.S. were basically unchanged last week. Trade frictions and global growth concerns were offset by a strong start to fourth-quarter earnings. Over ¾ of companies have posted positive earnings surprises so far. Globally, stocks were led by the 1.4% return of the MSCI EM index. Emerging markets are now leading most stock sectors, up about 7% on the year. The 10-year bond yield decreased 4 basis points over the week to 2.75%, up from 2.68% at the start of the year. The Barclays Aggregate Bond Index is now up 0.3% for the year. Oil prices continued to recover 2018 losses, with WTI finishing at $53.69, up 18% since the start of 2019.