This is the time of year we give thanks, and we have a lot to be thankful for. Not only has the economy continued its expansion, but lower interest rates favored the real estate market for the latter two thirds of the year. That was a surprise to analysts which were expecting rates to continue to rise – or at least stabilize at the high levels we saw at the end of last year.
One factor which helped push down rates even further was the trade wars, especially the war with China. The economy was already slowing down and the markets were afraid that tariffs would slow things down even more. Indeed, in late October when there appeared to be a breakthrough in the trade talks, rates started moving up. And at the same time, the stock market rallied significantly.
While the news was better on the trade front, we need to realize that it will take several months or even years to complete our deal with China. What we are hearing about is a first step. Therefore, it would not be surprising to have bumps in the road in the weeks or months ahead. Unless the economy slows further, the trade news will remain a factor which continues to lead the markets in one direction or another.