The first full trading week of 2019 may be characterized by improved investor sentiment, the return of risk and much less in equity markets. Thanks to the and Fed talk that has shown a willingness to delay further tightening of monetary policy in an obvious sign that policymakers are listening to the markets. This factor coupled with a return of U.S.–China trade negotiations provided a boost to global and U.S. equities. The , , and posted solid gains last week of 2.5%, 2.4% and 3.5% consecutively.
The Fed’s shift to a relatively dovish tone is undoubtedly good news to risk sentiment but not enough to keep bulls in control. Many catalysts may support or end last week’s market recovery including earnings announcements, macro data, the U.S. government shutdown, and Brexit vote.
Data released earlier this morning from China was not encouraging. The world’s second-largest economy reported the biggest monthly fall in exports in two years, confirming beliefs that the global economy is heading into a slowdown. Increased tariffs by the U.S. are to be blamed, but only partially because Chinese exports to the rest of the world also declined. As a result to the surprisingly negative figures, Asian equities fell and futures pointed to a lower open for Europe and the U.S., while high beta currencies like the and experienced the biggest falls amongst major currencies.
Investor appetite to equities will be heavily tested this week as Corporate America begins to announce earnings results for Q4. Citi Group (NYSE:) is the first major U.S. bank to report results today. JP Morgan (NYSE:) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:) will follow on Tuesday. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) and Bank of America (NYSE:) will be announced on Wednesday, while Thursday will be Morgan Stanley (NYSE:) along with Netflix (NASDAQ:). Investors need to keep an eye