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Financial and Economic Brief - February 4, 2020

• Continued Gains in Consumer Spending - The U.S. economy grew 2.1% in Q4 of 2019, closing out a year in which GDP decelerated to its slowest pace in three years.

• Chinese Shares Drop amid Coronavirus - Stock markets in China fell as traders rushed to sell amid continued fears about the impact on the global economy of the coronavirus epidemic.

• Oil Prices Fall - Oil prices fell because of the concern over demand in China after the coronavirus epidemic.

Financial and Economic Brief - January 7, 2020

• Consumer Confidence Dips - According to The Conference Board, U.S. consumer confidence “dipped slightly” in December. The metric came in at 126.5 for the month, down from 126.8 in November.

• Oil Prices Rising - Oil prices rose over 1% on Monday, pushing Brent above $70 a barrel.

• Gold Highest in 7 Years - Global investors are going into safe haven assets as fallout continues from the U.S. killing of Iran’s top general, Qasem Soleimani.

Financial and Economic Brief - December 3, 2019

• Moderate Growth in Q3 - The U.S. economy grew at a moderate 2.1% rate over the summer, slightly faster than first estimated.

• OPEC to Deepen Cuts - OPEC and its allies plan to deepen oil cuts and have the deal in place so it runs at least until June 2020.

• Tariff Threat Renewed - President Trump announced that the U.S. will “restore” steel and aluminum tariffs on Brazil and Argentina, citing a “massive devaluation of their currencies.”

Financial and Economic Brief - November 5, 2019

• Consumer Confidence “Dips” - U.S. consumer confidence fell slightly in Oct. to 125.9 from a Sept. reading of 126.3 as worries over business conditions & employment prospects rose.

• Gannett and New Media Investment Group - Gannett reported its 3rd quarter earnings noting a continued decline in overall revenue but pointed to an increase in its marketing services & digital subscriptions.

• U.S.-China Trade Optimism - Technology stocks pushed the 3 main indexes to record highs, as hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal & an improving domestic economy raised risk appetite.

Financial and Economic Brief - October 8, 2019

• Unemployment Rate Falls - Unemployment hit a 50-yr. low in September even though nonfarm payrolls rose by just 136,000 as the economy nears full employment.

• Impeachment and the Stock Market - The launch of an impeachment inquiry into President Trump tosses another wild card into a volatile stock market.

• Trade Talks Underway - U.S. & Chinese deputy trade negotiators launched a new round of talks on Monday aimed at resolving the 15-mo. trade war, with neither side showing any signs of giving ground.

Financial and Economic Brief - September 4, 2019

• Recent Jobless Claims Fall - Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped to 209,000 for the week ended August 17, 2019, falling sharply from the week before.

• Brexit Crisis Still Uncertain - British lawmakers will try to stop Boris Johnson from pursuing what they cast as a “calamitous no-deal Brexit”.

• New Wave of Tariffs in Trade War - The new tariffs are a sharp escalation in the trade war, and could cost U.S. households $800 a year.

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