Overview: Stocks around the globe moved higher last week as trade developments included the announcement that U.S. and China plan to meet for talks in early October. Emerging markets led the way with the MSCI EM index up 2.4% for the week followed by international developed stocks (MSCI EAFE) up 2.2%, and the S&P 500 index up 1.8%. Despite new tariffs that went into effect on Sept. 1 and weaker manufacturing data, markets rallied. Consumers have remained optimistic given the backdrop of wage growth above 3%, unemployment at 50-year lows, and muted inflation. As investors have become more comfortable with risk, yields have increased marginally. In bonds, the 10-year Treasury finished the week 5 basis points (bps) higher at 1.55%. Markets are pricing in high expectations for another 25 bp interest rate reduction by the Federal Reserve at the upcoming Sept. 17-18 meeting. Over the course of 2019, yields have fallen dramatically overall, with the yield on the benchmark Bloomberg Barclays Aggregate index now at 2.20%, from 3.28% at the start of the year.
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