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January
10
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Week In Review

Iran

Iranian forces launched a missile attack at two Iraqi airbases housing U.S. soldiers in response to the U.S. drone strike which killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.  According to Iranian officials, the attack concluded Iran’s official response to the Soleimani killing.

Our Take

Oil prices fell while equities and yields rose as markets believed the missile strike was an end to shooting hostilities between the U.S. and Iran.  While avoidance of all-out war is clearly positive, tensions remain extremely high in the region.  Any new developments could send markets in the opposite direction.


Employment

U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 145,000 jobs in December, slightly short of expectations.  October and November job gains were revised lower by a cumulative 14,000 jobs.  The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5%.  Average hourly earnings rose just 0.1%, two-tenths of a percent behind the predicted 0.3% increase.

Our Take

The jobs report, while not terrible, fell short of expectations.  Earnings growth continued to slow with year-over-year growth at an 18-month low of 2.8%.  This is slightly worrisome, as consumers are the driving force behind current economic expansion, and is likely due to weakness in the manufacturing sector, which created far fewer jobs in 2019 than in the previous year.


Municipals

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget calls for nearly $2 billion in spending for emergency management related to wildfires and disasters.  Governor Newsom’s plan includes adding firefighters, water infrastructure and technology upgrades, and preventative vegetation thinning according to Bloomberg.

Our Take

This year’s proposed wildfire spending is a significant increase over last year’s $1 billion budget item.  In the last two years, California has experienced extensive wildfire damage and rolling power blackouts related to the fires.  The increase in spending will allow California to better prepare for and combat future wildfires.


All expressions of opinions are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions.  All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness.  Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice.