In September, U.S. stocks rose for a seventh month this year, which was driven by improving investor sentiment on the heels of yet another Fed rate cut.
As many market observers expected, the Fed cut interest rates by another quarter point on September 18th. Given the trickle of weakening economic data being released, we believe the Fed is on course to make additional cuts through the end of the year to fend off a slowdown.
The U.S. is by no means in the middle of an economic crisis, but the trade war with China has sapped business confidence. Our hope is that this deteriorating sentiment does not spread to consumers and impact spending habits. The available information on the trade talks with China seems to indicate no substantial progress was made in September. Late in the month, there were reports that the White House was considering delisting Chinese companies from U.S. exchanges, but we view this as a highly unlikely event. Trade talks are scheduled to resume on October 10th in Washington.
As we enter the fourth quarter, markets will continue to be focused on the trade talks with China, Fed policy decision, and U.S. economic reports.