We hope you had a great weekend. We are beginning to see a lot of finalized data for 2018 trickle out and that will continue this week. On top of that, with the shutdown (temporarily) over, we will likely see attention swing back to trade issues and earnings season. Enjoy!
INVESTING & THE ECONOMY
Stock markets mostly fell Monday on caution over China-U.S. trade talks and over the ability of U.S. congressional negotiators to forge a government funding bill acceptable to President Donald Trump.
The U.S. and China will hold a pivotal round of talks this week in an attempt to end their trade war. Interpreting if they’d made real progress toward a truce won’t be an easy matter.
A rising number of US businesses saw falling sales and lower profit margins at the end of 2018, another sign that the American economy could be slowing. Only 47% of firms surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics reported rising sales in the last quarter of the year, down from 61% the previous quarter, while the number of businesses reporting falling sales nearly tripled, from 6% to 17%.
This is the first tax year under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — an overhaul of the code that doubled the standard deduction: For 2018, it’s $12,000 for singles and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly.
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