by Connor Darrell CFA, Assistant Vice President – Head of Investments
Global equity markets climbed higher for the second consecutive week despite mixed economic data and a significant reduction in forward revenue guidance by Apple, which blamed economic weakness in China for its slumping smartphone sales. The Apple announcement combined with a decline in manufacturing activity to push stocks lower on Thursday before a Friday rally was fueled by a blowout December jobs report and dovish comments made by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Friday’s jobs report showed that the U.S. economy added 312,000 new jobs during the month of December and revised estimates from previous months upward. Fears of an economic slowdown have been a major contributing factor to the volatility in markets over the past few months, but Friday’s employment report provided evidence that the US economy continues to add new jobs at a healthy clip, with new workers joining the labor force and real wages increasing. All of these factors should continue to support consumer spending and keep the risk of recession low in the near term.
Our Q4 Quarterly Commentary Is Now Available
Each quarter, we recap the important events that drove markets and identify key themes that will impact the forward outlook. Our Q4 2018 recap can be found at valleynationalgroup.com.