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.
January 3, 2020— On January 2, a U.S. military drone strike eliminated General Qassem Suleimani, leader of the al-Quds battalion of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The drone strike, which occurred at Baghdad airport, followed a rapidly escalating U.S. conflict with an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia. The al-Quds forces advance Iran’s influence by supporting various governments and militias across Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Iran has threatened unspecified retaliation against U.