Market Update: Wed, Feb 19, 2020 | LPL Financial Research


Coronavirus slows, travel restrictions ease. Futures are green around the globe this morning as the number of new coronavirus cases fell to the lowest daily increase since January 29 and the Chinese government stepped up its fiscal and monetary stimulus response. The number of new cases in mainland China (excluding Hubei) has now fallen for 15 straight days. In more good news, manufacturing hubs along the coast of China are finally starting to allow movement of people and traffic. The virtual shutdown of the second largest economy in the world has had crushing effects on supply chains, and this thawing of the stalled state is great news. 

Fed minutes on tap. Minutes from the recent Federal Reserve (Fed) Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting will be released later today. It is widely expected the minutes won’t add any new insight into monetary policy, but many want to hear what the Fed has to say about the expanding balance sheet. The Fed has been adamant it doesn’t consider this a new round of quantitative easing (QE), but many economists might disagree.

Where does President Trump rank? How stocks and the economy have performed under various presidents and during election years have been very popular questions for us the past few months. In honor of Presidents’ Day, we took a closer look. The Dow has gained just under 50% since President Trump took office, with eight presidents since the late 1800s seeing larger gains. But on an annualized basis, the Dow did better under only Coolidge and Clinton. Read the full blog post here.

Corporate America has impressed. Companies’ performance this earnings season has impressed us. Despite slowing global economic growth, weakness in capital investment and manufacturing, a strong U.S. dollar, and a huge drop in energy sector profits, S&P 500 Index companies are grinding out a couple of percentage points of overall earnings growth. Today on the LPL Research Blog, we share some highlights of fourth quarter earnings season.


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