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Vantage Point: 2020 Vision

The second half of 2019 saw fears about the 2020 outlook peak but then start to stabilize again towards the end of the year. Where does this leave investors?

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Weekly Market Roundup

January 21, 2020

Start your week off right with our market snapshot from the Global Economics and Investment Analysis Group.


  • Global stocks finished the latest week up +1.6% (+2.5% MTD); bullish narrative was underpinned by the U.S.-China trade deal. Gains were widespread and were led by developed markets (+1.6%), followed by emerging markets (+1.2%).
  • In the U.S., the S&P 500 delivered +2.0% (+3.1% MTD) but lagged both the Russell 2000’s +2.5% (+1.9% MTD) and the NASDAQ’s +2.3% (+4.7% MTD).
  • In fixed income, credit spreads tightened (U.S. HY -7 bp, U.S. IG -3 bp). U.S. sovereign bond yields were mostly unchanged, German Bunds and UK Gilts rallied, driving yields lower.
  • The US majors dollar index was up +0.3% (+1.3% MTD).
  • The U.S. and China signed the phase 1 trade deal but skepticism remains: China committed to buy U.S. goods above a 2017 baseline, listing $78 billion in manufactures, $32 billion in agricultural products, $52 billion in energy, and $38 billion in services. Trump stressed that the U.S. will maintain tariffs throughout phase 2 negotiations (beginning shortly) in order to preserve leverage. Concerns remain about $360 billion in existing tariffs, China's ability to hit aggressive purchase targets, and the ability to secure a phase two deal with much more difficult structural issues. The U.S.-China trade deal has already improved investor and market sentiment but need to see a return of investment to gauge the impact on the U.S. economy. With the positive effects of the three rate cuts still ahead of us, improved investment will support the U.S. economy and could lead to better-than-expected growth.
  • Separately, the U.S. Senate approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) free trade agreement this week.
  • Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that 20% of registered Democrats and independents favored Sanders compared to 19% who supported Biden. Senator Warren was further back on 12%, while former NYC Mayor Bloomberg attracted 9% and Pete Buttigieg had 6% support. Poll came ahead of the February 3 Iowa caucuses.
  • China Q4 GDP growth was steady at 6.0% y/y, matching expectations. 2019 GDP expanded 6.1% --also in line though still the weakest in 29 years. While the growth rate was within the government's 6.0-6.5% target range, consensus looks for further deceleration to 5.9% in 2020. China monthly activity data were firmer than expected. Industrial production rose 6.9% y/y in December, above consensus and follows 6.2% in the previous month. Fixed asset investment grew 5.4% YTD vs consensus 5.2%. Retail sales were up 8.0% vs consensus 7.9%.


  • UK Unemployment Rate, Wages (Tuesday)
  • Germany Economic Sentiment Index (Tuesday)
  • U.S. Chicago Fed National Activity Index (Wednesday)
  • European Central Bank Rate Decision (Thursday)
  • Eurozone Consumer Confidence (Thursday)
  • U.S. Leading Indicators (Thursday)
  • Eurozone Markit Composite PMI (Friday)
  • U.S. Markit Composite PMI (Friday)

Monthly Market Roundup

January 2020

Strong Finish to 2019

  • Global stocks gained another 3.6% in December, finishing the year up 27.3% for the best annual return since 2009 as markets signaled optimism over the 2020 outlook.
  • Further signs of a stabilization in global growth, expectations for improvement in 2020, easier financial conditions, and reduced trade tensions helped boost risk appetite and drive safe haven government bond yields higher.
  • Limited inflation will linger throughout 2020 and keep central banks on hold as the bar has been set higher for further stimulus.
  • Both a Brexit and US-China trade deal have more clarity but actual policies remain outstanding.
Find out more

Monthly Market Roundup Podcast
Presented by Lale Akoner,
Market Strategist

December 2019

Global stocks had the best November performance since 2009, on increased investor risk appetite pricing in a rebound of the global economy and perception of decreased geopolitical risk.

Looking Better

Monthly Market Roundup Podcast
Presented by Lale Akoner, Market Strategist

November 2019

Increased risk appetite in October supported equities as global stocks gained 2.8%, the best month since June.

Positive Sentiment Supports Risk Assets

Monthly Market Roundup Podcast
Presented by Lale Akoner, Market Strategist

Monthly Market Roundup - January 2020


Monthly Market Roundup - December 2019


Monthly Market Roundup - November 2019


Points of View

What’s priced into markets?

Government Bonds: Why we expect yields to edge higher…

Our forecasts for yields still imply a market that is too pessimistic and lowered its estimates too far. Hence, we see a higher probability of an upward drift in yields as growth stabilizes in 2020.


Read More

U.S. Treasuries: Why we think recession fears are unjustified

Given dramatic moves in risk markets, we provide a brief update of what we think markets are currently pricing in along with implications for investing.


Read More

Global Economics and Investment Analysis Group

Meet the minds behind the research.

Shamik Dhar

Chief Economist


Alicia Levine, PhD

Chief Strategist


Liz Young, CFA

Director of Market Strategy


Lale Akoner

Market Strategist


Bryan Besecker, CFA, CAIA

Market Strategist