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Last week began with moderate increase in US stock indices.

Once again, investors focused on the relationship between the United States and China. US President Trump said he expects to sign a “very large part” of the trade deal with China earlier than expected, but has not specified a time frame. It was previously planned that the so-called “Phase 1” agreement with China would be signed at a summit in Chile on November 16-17. This strengthened the optimism of market participants, triggered on Friday by Washington's statements that they are “close to completion” of a number of provisions in the trade agreement with Beijing. Xinhua China State News Agency also announced progress in the text of the "first phase" of the trade agreement. In addition, positive dynamics received support from strong corporate settlements. The reports by AT&T and WBA supported the trend of the corporate segment to show exceeded earnings for the third quarter. According to FactSet, of the 202 companies in the S&P 500 index that have already released their last quarter results, 78% showed higher than expected earnings. Additional support to the market was provided by increased expectations of lower interest rates at the October meeting of the Fed.

The next day, the indices fell slightly and the reason again was the situation around the US-China deal. The Chinese publication South China Morning Post (SCMP) announced in the morning that Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump will meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Santiago (Chile) on November 17 to sign an interim trade agreement, “If everything goes smoothly.” This publication was informed by an informed source. However, later Reuters reported that the signing of the phase-1 trade agreement may not take place at the summit in Chile. As a source in the administration told the agency, the fact that the deal will not be signed simply means that it takes more time to move forward. Market participants also focused on Conference Board data, which showed that consumer confidence in the United States unexpectedly fell in October amid household fears about short-term business prospects and employment prospects. According to the Conference Board report, the consumer confidence index fell to 125.9 this month from an upwardly revised 126.3 in September. It was previously reported that the index was 125.1 in September. Economists forecasted the increase to 128.0 in October.

On Wednesday, the dynamics again changed to positive. Investors analyzed mixed quarterly results of US companies and evaluated the results of the Fed meeting. Market participants also focused on preliminary US GDP data, which showed that the US economy grew more in the third quarter than expected, but slowed down slightly from the second quarter as business investment declined. According to the report by the Ministry of Commerce, GDP grew year-on-year by 1.9% in the third quarter, falling slightly from 2% in the second quarter. Economists expected the economy to grow by 1.6%. As for the Fed meeting, the Central Bank lowered the rate for the third time this year, refuting expectations for a further reduction in the short term. The Fed gave a signal that the threshold for lowering the rate in the future is likely to be higher after the last decrease, as a result of which a range of 1.5% -1.75% was established. The Central Bank abandoned the rhetoric that was used in June, July and September, according to which the FOMC "will act in an appropriate manner" to support economic growth. They replaced the phrase with a milder alternative. "The committee will continue to monitor the impact of the incoming information on economic prospects, determining the appropriate path" for the target rate, the Central Bank said.

On Thursday, the main US stock indices fell slightly, as concerns that the US and China might not enter into a bargain outweighed the solid reporting of Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB). On Thursday, Bloomberg News reported, citing anonymous sources, that Chinese officials question the possibility of a comprehensive long-term trade deal with Washington and US President Donald Trump. The article also notes that Chinese officials are worried about Trump's “impulsive nature” and the risk of rejecting even an interim deal. However, Trump said on Twitter that the two countries will soon announce a new venue for the Phase 1 trade deal after Chile’s authorities canceled the APEC summit on November 16-17. Recent reports heightened uncertainty about the prospects for a trade deal between the US and China, outweighing solid corporate segment reporting, including giants such as Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB), and the Fed’s third rate cut this year on the eve.

The week ended with a notable increase after the publication of strong statistics on US employment in October. The report released by the Department of Labor showed that the number of jobs in the U.S. non-farm sector grew by 128,000 as the U.S. economy overcame the negative effects of the strike by auto workers and created jobs far more than expected (+89,000). At the same time, the unemployment rate rose to 3.6%, which is consistent with estimates, but remains the lowest over the past 50 years. The average hourly earnings increased slightly, by 0.1%, to 3% per annum, which also corresponds to estimates. Along with better-than-expected October indicators, the indicators of previous months were revised significantly higher: the initial estimate for August 168,000 reached 219,000, and the September estimate from 136,000 to 180,000. Released labor market data reassured investors who fear that The US economy is on the path to recession. The market was also supported by Exxon Mobil (XOM), which jumped 2.86% after the company reported quarterly earnings of $ 0.75 per share, which was $ 0.09 higher than analysts' average forecast. Over 70% of S&P 500 companies have already posted quarterly figures for the third quarter. According to FactSet, 75% of these companies exceeded expected earnings for the reporting period.

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