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The Markets This Week

November 19, 2019 | Weekly Commentary

by Connor Darrell CFA, Assistant Vice President – Head of Investments
With the exception of emerging markets, most global equity indices gained ground last week as investors continued to wait patiently for new details on the progress of the U.S.-China trade negotiations. Since learning last month that a “Phase One” deal was close to being reached, markets have been deprived of any substantive news as to whether there has been real progress. The apparent improvement in U.S.-China relations over the course of the past couple of months has helped to alleviate some pressure on global equities, and some of that relief came through on corporate earnings calls. During these calls, it is not uncommon for CEOs to discuss the global landscape as they explain company performance throughout the quarter. According to Factset, the third-quarter earnings season brought with it a 13% reduction in the number of companies commenting on “tariffs” when discussing quarterly performance. Unsurprisingly, tariffs were still a major talking point for corporate leaders throughout earnings season, particularly among large industrial conglomerates, but the reduction is a sign that companies are beginning to look beyond the near-term uncertainty.