Panic Hits Wall Street

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

Financial markets have gone from irrational exuberance over the last four months to panic in the short space of a week and a half.

At the time of this writing the U.S. equity market has lost about 15% of its value from the record highs reached just nine days ago and has drop about 13% in the last five trading days. To give you a sense of the panic in the air around the coronaviruss’ potential impacts on the global economy and corporate profits, one only needs to glance at the VIX index.

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Bulls Get Corralled As Coronavirus Hits Global Economy

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

A brief period of global economic and financial market optimism over the past four months is quickly going dormant as the global economic impact of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) comes into greater focus.

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Retail Sales OK but Manufacturing Slump Continues

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

Consumers continued to grow their spending in January in line with our forecasts. January’s advanced retail sales report showed a 0.3% gain on the month with retail sales excluding autos also increasing 0.3%. There was a small downward revision in December’s headline retail sales gain to 0.2% from 0.3% as originally reported.

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January’s Employment Gains Solid

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

The January payroll report was a solid report across most metrics.

The headline nonfarm payroll gain of 225k jobs last month handily beat analysts’ forecasts looking for a gain of 165k jobs in January. U.S. nonfarm payroll growth was 1.8% on an annualized basis last month.

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