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Weekly eLetter 1/17/2020 — Well, That Was Interesting

It’s nobody’s secret that money moves the markets. True also is that removing, or reducing, uncertainty can encourage the money to get moving.

This week has seen a confluence of events that set up a battle of things unknown versus things finally (if only partially) known. It seems that ‘known’ works better.

All three of the U.S. major indexes set new record highs this week; something that would seem unlikely, given that it is co-incident with America looking at only its third presidential impeachment in history. The mavens of Wall Street clearly had their eyes elsewhere.

Probably the most significant financial event of the week was the signing of the ‘Phase One’ trade agreement with China. After all, it was the ‘on-again’ / ‘off-again’ of that deal that dogged most of the market’s bearish side throughout 2019.  Finally, it came. And with a cherry on top to boot: China has agreed to buy 200 Billion USD worth of stuff to help get things rolling.

Next up was the passing of the USMCA, the new version of NAFTA. Canada’s Trudeau was happy.  Mexico was happy, Trump was happy. The markets were happy and many Americans were happy to discover that Trump doesn’t really hate Mexicans after all.

So, what about the impeachment? Why no negative reaction from the markets? In the world of ‘Unknowns’, this is a pretty substantial one. Truth be told, there is not a lot of conviction in the idea of conviction. Of course, as we frequently point out, black swans can and do appear. Accordingly, we’re staying on our toes.

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