March 3, 2020—The Federal Reserve cut their short-term interest rate target by 50 basis points to a target range of 1.0–1.25%, the lowest since December 2017, in response to the economic risk coming from the spread of the new coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. The next scheduled Fed meeting was not until two weeks from now, on March 17-18, so this was done as an emergency meeting, most likely via conference call. Emergency meetings like this are rare, but not unprecedented.
Chief Investment Officer Tony Roth and Chief Economist Luke Tilley of Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors discuss the productivity paradox. Forces such as market creation, firm strategy, consumer surplus, and progress all combine to help explain the disconnect between the productivity we see and the fact that it isn’t reflected in the economic data.
January 17, 2020 — On January 15, President Trump and Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China Liu He signed a Phase 1 trade deal, bringing a hiatus—though likely not an end—to two years (almost to the day) of tariff threats and levies on goods traded between the U.S. and China.
The Phase 1 deal covered several areas, some more fully than others.
January 10, 2020 — The first jobs report of 2020 was encouraging and supports our view that the U.S. economy remains strong enough to support equities as we start the new year. The report on jobs added one month ago in December 2019 showed 145,000 jobs added, with 139,000 of them by private employers and the other 6,000 in government. That was roughly in line with the median expectation of 160,000 in the monthly Bloomberg survey. It is a sharp slowdown from the revised 256,000 from November.
December 17, 2019 — For the second time in as many months, we have increased our allocation to equities in response to a more optimistic outlook and a clear reduction in macro risks. Our outlook for domestic and global growth is more positive than just a few months ago when global manufacturing and trade were in stark decline and threatened to drag major economies inexorably downward toward recessions.