Economic reports that were delayed due to the government shutdown have trickled in to reveal the economy slowed a bit more than expected in early 2019, reports Raymond James Chief Economist Scott Brown. However, the recent conclusion of the Mueller investigation with no pending indictments should serve as a market positive, according to Ed Mills, Raymond James managing director and Washington policy analyst.
While factors including the partial government shutdown and trade policy uncertainty brought us into the New Year with increased downside risks, February seemed more promising, points out Raymond James Chief Economist Scott Brown: a potential U.S.-China trade agreement appeared on the horizon and the United Kingdom is considering a revote on Brexit.
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While the global equity markets enjoyed one of their best years in 2017, 2018 offered a different story, bookended by early- and late-year volatility. The last week in December, for example, saw stocks attempt a rebound from the edge of bear market territory. According to Bloomberg data, it was the first time since May 2010 that the S&P 500 had posted such a large reversal.