Overview: Global stocks fell in the final full trading week of the third quarter, as trade tensions and politics dominated the news. The S&P 500 index was down about 1% for the week. Non-U.S. stocks fell as well, with emerging markets stocks (MSCI EM) down 1.9%, and international developed stocks (MSCI EAFE) down 0.6% for the week. Interest rates were lower, as investors fled to safe-haven assets in light of weak economic data and uncertain political outcomes. The yield on the 10-year Treasury closed at 1.67%, down from 2.68% at the start of 2019.
Looking Ahead: Investors will continue to look for direction from economic data and the Federal Reserve actions in the final quarter of 2019. The economic calendar will be highlighted by this Friday’s jobs report, where the consensus is for 145,000 new non-farm payroll jobs to be added, with the unemployment rate expected to remain at 3.7%. Central bank activity has been a primary focus for investors with forward guidance from central banks globally suggesting further easing in the months ahead as the global economic outlook continues to deteriorate. A coordinated effort from global central banks to provide stimulus should be supportive of global growth and may serve to balance out political and trade risks.
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