Washington Watch: State Of The Union Thin on News, Powell Up Tonight

(Wednesday Market Open) Last night’s State of the Union didn’t really move the needle much on subjects near and dear to many investors’ hearts—stuff like trade and a possible second government shutdown—so now it’s back to watching earnings and the Fed.

Speaking of which, Fed Chair Jerome Powell speaks tonight. He’s giving opening remarks, anyway, and taking questions on monetary policy from teachers. It doesn’t really sound like a potentially market-moving event, but might be worth a look.

Some of the key earnings to consider monitoring today include 21st Century Fox (FOXA), Eli Lilly (NYSE:), Chipotle (CMG), and General Motors (NYSE:). Then investors can wait for Twitter (NYSE:) and Philip Morris (NYSE:), among many others, on Thursday.

Major U.S. indices had a mixed to slightly weaker tone in the early hours Wednesday. The (SPX) is on quite a roll, rising each of the last five sessions. Along with that, the (DJI) has a six-week win streak going. Better than expected earnings seem to be driving the action on Wall Street, but earnings season is winding down and geopolitics might come back into the picture more as the month continues.

In the speech last night, President Trump didn’t say much of anything new to raise investors hopes of getting a trade deal with China anytime soon. Nor did it sound like a compromise might be in the works on border wall funding that might prevent another shutdown. So from a geopolitical view, the market is in pretty much the same place as 24 hours ago with the same issues unresolved. More negotiations between the U.S. and China are expected to take place next week, according to media reports, but February is a short month and that March 1 deadline for new tariffs is approaching fast. Markets in parts of Southeast Asia

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