Market Perspective for December 7, 2018

The markets declined this week, but they failed to create a potential panic. The S&P 500 Index failed to sustain a break below 2630 on Thursday and Friday. Going back to November 20, this level has been tested six times and support has yet to be broken.

ISM services PMIs out this week confirmed the strengthening in the U.S. economy showed by the manufacturing PMIs. The ISM survey climbed to 60.7, beating last month’s 60.3. Unemployment held steady at 3.7 percent. Average hourly earnings remained at 0.2 percent.

President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at the G20 summit last weekend to discuss trade. The U.S. will delay implementing tariffs on all Chinese imports at least until March 1, while China would repeal retaliatory tariffs on autos and purchase more U.S. agricultural exports.

Crude oil hit $54 a barrel before settling at $52.13 on Friday. OPEC and Russia agreed to support oil prices with production cuts. This should stabilize the market.

The U.S. Dollar Index was steady this week, gaining slightly versus emerging market currencies.

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