Good Economic News Again
A strong November retail sales report, soaring business-owner confidence, and good news on the trade war with China this past week propelled the Standard & Poor's 500 to a record-breaking closing high.
The U.S. trade war with China, at worst, threatens to shave two-tenths of 1% of U.S. gross domestic product, according to research by J.P. Morgan. The damage caused by the trade war is not as costly to the economy as you would be led to believe from the headlines it has generated for months. However, the prospect of the world's two largest economic powers slugging it out for years is a gut punch to investor sentiment. That was just one piece of the good news this past week.
Small business owner optimism posted the largest month-over-month gain since May 2018, rising 2.3 points to 104.7 in November. Owners saying it is a good time to expand increased by 6 points, and those expecting better business conditions increased by 3 points, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses. The NFIB's Uncertainty Index fell 6 points in November, its lowest reading since May 2018.
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