Weekly Market Digest; Zero-Fee Brokerages?

Earnings season kicked off strong this week with a diverse mix of companies beating expectations. Despite market optimism over the earnings beats by the big banks that reported, bank executives warned on lower interest rates weighing on future earnings. On the global front, the International Monetary Fund cut it’s 2019 GDP growth projections to 3.0%, down from 3.2% in a July forecast, citing global trade frictions. Across the pond, the EU and U.K. reached a tentative Brexit deal ahead of the EU leaders Summit in Brussels. The deal is still subject to Parliament’s approval and will be held to a crucial vote Saturday as leaders scramble to get a deal before the October 31st deadline.

On the race to zero among discount brokers, Fidelity followed suit this week dropping their commission rate on ETF and stock trades to zero to match Schwab and TD Ameritrade’s recent moves.

Weekly Returns

S&P 500: 2986 (+0.54%)
FTSE All-World ex-US (VEU): (+0.87%)
US 10 Year Treasury Yield: 1.76 (0.00)
Gold: $1,489.5 (+0.07%)
EUR/USD: 1.1171 (+1.17%)

Major Events

  • Monday – September exports to the U.S. from China dropped 22% due to tariffs imposed.
  • Tuesday – Earnings season kicked off with strong reports from JP Morgan, United Health, and Johnson & Johnson.
  • Wednesday – U.S. retail sales for September came in weaker than expected. The Commerce Department cited consumer spending cuts on building materials, online purchases and automobiles as the cause.
  • Thursday – Housing starts fell from a 12-year high with a decline of 9.4% for September partly due to a decline in construction of multi-family housing.
  • Friday – China’s economy growth came in at the slowest pace in almost 30 years with GDP growth coming in at 6%; below the expected 6.1%.
  • Friday – Saudi Aramco delayed its initial public offering for at least a few weeks over doubts about its $2 trillion valuation. The delay will allow Q3 results to be incorporated into assessments of the company’s valuation.
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