The Major Markets all closed higher again last week with Emerging Markets taking the lead for the second week in a row. The gains were fueled in large part by the confirmation of the Phase One trade deal and the full acknowledgment that the proposed December 15th trade tariffs would be stayed.

While the Phase One trade deal had been agreed upon in concept, there was still some doubt going into Friday’s open whether or not this would be actually happening. However, on Friday the United States Trade Representative announced that the US would be maintaining 25 percent tariffs on approximately $250 billion worth of Chinese imports, along with a reduction in tariffs down to 7.5 percent on approximately $120 billion of Chinese imports.

 

https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2019/december/united-states-and-china-reach

 

Additionally, China agreed to buy $200 billion worth of additional US goods and services over the next two years. This includes an additional $32 billion of US agricultural products. And on this news, President Trump announced that negotiations for the Phase Two Deal would begin immediately.

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-trade-china-details/china-to-buy-200-billion-of-additional-u-s-goods-over-two-years-ustr-idUKKBN1YH26V

 

The other significant geopolitical news was the December 12th UK Election. After months of stalemate, Members of Parliament agreed back in October that the voters in the United Kingdom should go to the polls yet again on December 12th to determine the fate of the June 2016 Brexit referendum. In the end, Boris Johnson captured more than enough votes to move forward with Brexit, securing the largest conservative majority since Margaret Thatcher. It looks like the third time’s a charm. After three extension requests to EU, the UK is set to complete the Article 50 separation from the European Union on January 31st, 2020.

By the end of the week, the MSCI United Kingdom Index gained 3.39% and held the second largest weekly return among the MSCI Developed Countries.


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The S&P 500® Index is a capitalization index of 500 stock-designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of stock representing all major industries.

https://us.spindices.com/indices/equity/sp-500

The Dow Jones Industrial Average® (The Dow®), is a price-weighted measure of 30 U.S. blue-chip companies. The index covers all industries except transportation and utilities.

https://us.spindices.com/indices/equity/dow-jones-industrial-average

The NASDAQ Composite Index measures all NASDAQ domestic and international based common type stocks listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market. Today the NASDAQ Composite includes over 2,500 companies, more than most other stock market indexes. Because it is so broad-based, the Composite is one of the most widely followed and quoted major market indexes

https://indexes.nasdaqomx.com/Index/Overview/COMP

The MSCI World Index, which is part of The Modern Index Strategy, is a broad global equity benchmark that represents large and mid-cap equity performance across 23 developed markets countries. It covers approximately 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in each country and MSCI World benchmark does not offer exposure to emerging markets.

The MSCI Emerging Markets (EM) Index is designed to represent the performance of large- and mid-cap securities in 24 Emerging Markets countries of the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. As of December 2017 it had more than 830 constituents and covered approximately 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in each country.

https://www.msci.com/

The S&P GSCI Crude Oil index provides investors with a reliable and publicly available benchmark for investment performance in the crude oil market.

https://us.spindices.com/indices

Companies in the S&P 500 Sector Indices are classified based on the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS®).

https://us.spindices.com/indices

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