Trade Tensions Linger

Weekly Commentary — May 28th, 2019

The Week on Wall Street

Stocks drifted lower last week as investors considered the possibility that the world’s two largest economies might take some time to resolve key trade issues. The S&P 500 retreated 1.17%; the Nasdaq Composite, 2.29%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 0.69%. The concern over trade was felt elsewhere: the overseas developed markets benchmark, the MSCI EAFE, also lost 1.41% in five sessions.[1],[2]

Market Waits for Further Trade Talk Cues

A compromise on tariffs between the U.S. and China did not seem forthcoming last week. Negotiations appeared stalled. Regardless, President Trump and Chinese President Xi are slated to meet at June’s G20 summit in Japan.

The Department of Commerce has effectively banned U.S. companies from doing business with Chinese tech giant Huawei, a major global player in 5G technology. Some analysts think China may respond with retaliatory measures.[3]

Leading Retailers Report Earnings

Big-box stores and other major retail chains announced first-quarter results last week. While some traditional department store chains disappointed (Kohl’s, JC Penney, Nordstrom), Macy’s recorded its sixth straight quarter of comparable sales growth. Target reported a 10.8% jump in earnings in the first quarter, Walmart announced Q1 gains in earnings and revenue, and Urban Outfitters saw record sales in Q1.[4],[5]

Final Thought

As new chapters in the U.S.-China trade drama continue to unfold, remember that your investment approach is built around your long-term objectives. There will always be day-to-day price changes; there will always be breaking news alerts. The disciplined, long-term investor stays the course through the ups and downs.


Tuesday: The Conference Board’s latest monthly consumer confidence index.

Friday: May consumer spending numbers and May’s final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index (another important measure of consumer confidence levels).

Source: Econoday / MarketWatch Calendar, May 24, 2019



Wednesday:Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS), PVH (PVH)

Thursday:Costco (COST), Dell (DELL), Dollar General (DG), Ulta Beauty (ULTA)

Source:, May 24, 2019

When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.” 

– Zig Ziglar


Lock Down with a Stronger Password

One of the best ways to secure your personal financial data, like your Social Security number and banking and credit card information, is to create a strong password. Simple and predictable passwords can be cracked by cybercriminals, and your identity can be stolen. Check out these tips to lock down your privacy:

  • Create a passphrase that you can picture in your head, making it hard for cybercriminals to guess, but easy for you to remember.
  • Use a different password or passphrase for each account. If necessary, consider using a password manager for multiple accounts.
  • Change all factory-set passwords. Factory-set passwords are a go-to for cybercriminals.Be sure to create strong passwords for wireless devices like printers and routers.
  • Use multifactor authentication. When possible, use sites with multifactor authentication. This adds another layer of protection by requiring more than just your username and password to access your account. You’ll most likely be sent a unique security code to your cell phone, which you’ll need to enter when prompted, in order to access the site.

* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from[6]


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