Weekly Market Update - October 2, 2019


Congress managed to turn back from the precipice of a government shutdown last week by agreeing to delay the legislative fight to another day. The signing of a “continuing resolution” by the House of Representatives (on 9/19/19) and by the Senate (on 9/26/19) will permit fiscal year 2020 to begin tomorrow (on 10/01/19) as scheduled, albeit with a spending plan carried over from fiscal year 2019. Both chambers of Congress now have until Thursday 11/21/19 (a week before Thanksgiving) to agree on new spending limits for our nation’s discretionary outlays for the new fiscal year, representing 30% of our anticipated spending, i.e., $1.4 trillion out of $4.6 trillion (source: Congress).

Call it a disagreement or a difference of opinions, but either way, Fed members are not on the same page with regard to the future of rate cuts. The Federal Reserve Board consists of the 7 members of the Fed’s Board of Governors (which has 2 vacancies currently) and the presidents of the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks, i.e., there are 17 current members of the Federal Reserve Board. At the 9/18/19 Fed meeting where an interest rate cut was approved, 7 of the 17 supported an immediate rate cut and saw the need for an additional rate cut later in 2019, another 5 of the 17 supported an immediate rate cut but anticipated no further action during 2019, and the final 5 of the 17 did not support the most recent rate cut or any other reductions in 2019 (source: Federal Reserve).

The ultimate winner of the US-China trade war may not be Washington or Beijing but may be Vietnam. US corporations caught in the middle of the conflict have increasingly turned to Vietnam to establish new manufacturing relationships, including some of Silicon Valley biggest technology names (source: Financial Times).

Notable Numbers for the Week:

  1. MILLION BUCKS - If the nation’s aggregate net worth of $113.5 trillion was spread equally across all 122.5 million US households, every American household would be worth $927,000 (source: Federal Reserve).

  2. VOTING - The 2020 elections in the US take place 400 days from today. On 11/03/20, Americans will vote for a President, all 435 members of the House and 33 members (out of 100) of the Senate (source: Congress).

  3. EACH AND EVERY DAY - The world consumes 101 million barrels of crude oil per day, with the United States consuming 21 million barrels of the global daily total (source: Department of Energy).

  4. FREEDOM AND UNITY - The lowest unemployment rate in any US state as of August 2019 was 2.1% in Vermont (source: Department of Labor).

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