What Happened: Target's sales increased by only 1.4% in at least one-year stores in November and December, an important measure of the retailer's health. That was below the company's expectations – and far behind the growth of 5.7% in the previous year.
A good sign: Costco said sales rose more than 9% in December. The stock ticked higher.
It's worth watching: US retail sales for December arrive Thursday. Expect a market reaction when there are signs of weakness. (Economists expect 0.5% growth compared to the previous month, excluding cars.)
A world trade war is brewing. The US-China agreement won't stop it
Her opinion: "Tensions between the two largest economies in the world are likely to continue in 2020 as Beijing and Washington enter a second round of trade talks, which are expected to be more difficult than the" Phase 1 "process that took place on Wednesday led to a deal in Washington.
… The European Union is also involved in its own trade dispute with the United States, which has strained relations between the major Western powers. And the forthcoming breakdown of the UK with Europe poses a number of challenges as the country tries to re-establish a relationship with its largest export market. "
Prepare to be surprised: President Donald Trump and high-ranking Chinese politicians signed an 86-page agreement on Wednesday. It included a promise from Beijing to buy more US agricultural products and finished goods in two years. In return, the United States agreed to cut tariffs on Chinese products worth $ 120 billion from 15% to 7.5%.
"Are we in an ideal location? No," said Robert Lighthizer, Trump's leading negotiator, before signing to reporters at the White House. "Is that a very good first step? Yes."
Could the market predict the next president?
Only 55% of Americans own stocks. Still, markets could help predict the outcome of the 2020 presidential election – at least according to Sam Stovall, chief strategist for US investments at CFRA Research.
"Investors don't like insecurity, and a new regime creates insecurity," he said. If the shares fall, the incumbent operator loses 88% of the time.
And what about all the voters who don't own shares? "While people on Main Street may not benefit directly from the stock market, they benefit indirectly because companies are hiring [and] Salaries are rising, "said Stovall.
- US retail sales for December arrive at 8:30 am ET.
- The January NAHB Housing Market Index will be released at 10 a.m.CET.
Tomorrow is coming: Shortly after signing a first trade agreement between the United States and China, Beijing will publish its GDP data for the last three months of 2019.