May 13 – 17 Week in Review

The markets moved lower last week, as trade tensions escalated between the U.S. and China. The S&P 500 lost 0.8%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.7%, the Nasdaq Composite lost 1.3%, and the Russell 2000 lost 2.4%.

Video 05.20.2019

The week started off with China increasing the tariff rate on $60 billion of U.S. imports to a floating range of 5-25%, from 5-10%, effective June 1. The news sent the S&P 500 down 2.4% on Monday and back below its 50-day moving average.

President Trump responded on Wednesday with an executive order to protect U.S. technology from "foreign adversaries" that pose a threat to national security. Many viewed this as an attempt to weaken China's Huawei Technologies. The move sent the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index into the red, while every sector in the S&P 500 finished higher despite the negative implications.

The S&P 500 rallied all the way back to break-even for the week at one point on Friday but hope for a flat week was dampened after CNBC reported that U.S.-China trade talks had stalled. Although not surprising given the negative rhetoric coming out of China and the prior developments, it stoked concerns about potential retaliation from China.

For the week the S&P 500 financials, industrials, information technology, and consumer discretionary sectors underperformed the broader market. The real estate, utilities, consumer staples and communication services sectors were the only groups to finish higher.

Prior to the news, the market appeared to have decided that Monday's drop was a good buying opportunity. It took good news with stride, and it brushed off bad news. No news was reportedly good news.

Reports surfaced that the White House was going delay auto tariffs by up to six months and that it was close to resolving a tariff dispute with Canada and Mexico pertaining to aluminum and steel. The news assured investors that the U.S. would not be distracted in its trade talks with China by also having to deal with other tariff disputes. Both were confirmed on Friday with aluminum and steel tariffs agreed to be removed within 48 hours.

The reaction to economic data was no different. The good news was housing starts picked up in April, initial jobless claims remained at historically low levels, and consumer sentiment hit its highest level in 15 years. The bad news was retail sales and industrial production in the U.S. and China both came in weaker than expected for April.

On the interest rate front U.S. Treasuries alternated between up and down days for the week, but in the end, yields finished lower in a curve flattening trade. The 2 year yield declined three basis points to 2.21%, and the 10 year yield declined seven basis points to 2.39%.

In other markets the U.S. Dollar Index increased 0.7% to 97.99 and WTI crude rose 1.7% to $62.73 a barrel on increased tensions in the Middle East.

May 20 – May 24 Economic Calendar

  • Monday
  • Chicago Fed National Activity Index
    8:30 AM ET
  • Jerome Powell Speaks
    7:00 PM ET
  • Tuesday
  • Redbook
    8:55 AM ET
  • Existing Home Sales
    10:00 AM ET
  • Wednesday
  • MBA Mortgage Applications
    7:00 AM ET
  • EIA Petroleum Status Report
    10:30 AM ET
  • FOMC Minutes
    2:00 PM ET
  • Thursday
  • Jobless Claims
    8:30 AM ET
  • PMI Composite FLASH
    9:45 AM ET
  • New Homes Sales
    10:00 AM ET
  • EIA Natural Gas Report
    10:30 AM ET
  • Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index
    11:00 AM ET
  • Fed Balance Sheet
    4:30 PM ET
  • Money Supply
    4:30 PM ET
    • Friday
    • Durable Goods Orders
      8:30 AM ET



    • Baker-Hughes Rig Count
      1:00 PM ET

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT A GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS. This commentary is a matter of opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as investment advice and does not address or account for individual investor circumstances. Investment decisions should always be made based on the client's specific financial needs, goals and objectives, time horizon and risk tolerance. The statements contained herein are based solely upon the opinions of Telemus Capital, LLC. All opinions and views constitute our judgments as of the date of writing and are subject to change at any time without notice. Information was obtained from third party sources, which we believe to be reliable, but not guaranteed.

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