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October 16 , 2017
Statistic of the Week: 
A recent MIT and Brookings Institution study shows that some geographic areas are being impacted more adversely and more quickly than others as automation takes hold in manufacturing. Almost half of all robots being used in the US are concentrated in the South and Midwest (home to most of the country’s auto production).
Global Perspective: 
Talks for the renegotiation of the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) began last week. The agreement is 23 years old, and the participants are looking to update governance on digital trade, dispute resolution, and labor and environmental standards. Should the US adhere to an “America First” agenda, the talks could be harder than expected.
Market Moving Events: 
Wednesday: New Home Sales Thursday: Jobless Claims, Purchasing Managers Index, Existing Home Sales Friday: Durable Goods Orders
Commentary: 
Political disarray continued to weigh on market action last week, as all three of the major US equity indices finished the week in the red. The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ both fared the best, finishing the week down -0.58%.1 The DJIA was off a little more, down -0.77%.2 Domestic politics did not seem to have a negative impact on international markets as the MSCI EAFE was slightly in the black, up 0.07%,3 and MSCI Emerging Markets put in a solid gain of 1.64%.4 While domestic equities were under pressure, the fixed income markets finished the week mostly unchanged. The 10-year Treasury closed with a yield of 2.19% on Friday.5 The turmoil in the West Wing (whether dealing with the North Korean regime, accusations of mishandling the response to Charlottesville, or internal politicking) seems to have finally caught the attention of investors. The volatility we experienced last week was not out of the ordinary. However, because volatility has been so low so far this year, markets may be appearing to be misbehaving more than they actually are. (The drop last Thursday was the S&P 500’s second-worst day of the year – down 1.53%).6 To the economy’s credit, leading indicators (chart right) show strength, and the Bloomberg US Financial Conditions Index is supportive of slow-and-steady growth.7 A quiet period out of Washington may help dampen recent volatility and allow investors to focus on market fundamentals instead of political bumbling, fumbling, et al. - Dan McElwee, CFP®
Chart of the Week: 
About Ventura Wealth Management: 
Ventura Wealth Management is an independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). Unparalleled service, objective advice, and comprehensive planning act as the central pillars of our client experience. We are dedicated to building long-term client relationships through diligent management, custom portfolios, client education, and ongoing financial review
Sources: 

Statistic of the Week:

 The Atlantic

Global Perspective:

 The Economist

Market Moving Data:

Bloomberg.com

Chart of the Week:

Haver Analytics / The Conference Board

Commentary:

1.Bloomberg
2.Bloomberg
3.Bloomberg
4.Bloomberg
5.Bloomberg
6.CNBC / Bloomberg
7.JP Morgan Asset Management
 
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