A proposed tariff increase on goods imported from China was delayed from October 1st to October 15th. Tariffs on a number of Chinese goods are scheduled to increase to 30 percent from 25 percent effective on the 15th.
U.S. equity markets marked their best third quarter since 1997, recapturing gains that were lost in the final quarter of 2018. The market’s resilience has allowed stock and bond prices to elevate higher even with the headwinds of trade tensions and recessionary concerns. Meager bond yields worldwide also fueled a gravitation towards stocks as investors sought more attractive yields in the form of dividends.
Domestic bond yields rose in September, climbing back from ultra low levels reached in August. The Fed’s easing rate trend is part of a larger global movement by other central banks to lower rates internationally.
Currency markets reacted to slightly higher U.S. rates in September, sending the U.S. dollar to its strongest levels in over two years. Various factors such as consistent consumer demand and a stable economic environment, relative to other global economies, helped drive the demand for the dollar.
A key inflation indicator, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), moved higher with its fastest annualized growth since 2008. The CPI index, which measures the price of various goods and services such as food, housing, and medical expenses, rose 2.4% over the past year. Medical insurance and healthcare related expenses saw some of the largest increases.
Sources: Commerce Depart., U.S. Treasury, BLS
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