The world marketplace continues in a generally upbeat mood, with no serious geopolitical events at present that would create anxiety. Remember, however, that history shows geopolitical calm can be quickly and unexpectedly interrupted.
Focus of the marketplace early this week is on U.S.-China high-level trade talks taking place in Beijing. U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer will attend the talks, likely to take place with them present later this week. Many traders and investors are upbeat that a deal can be reached by the March 1 deadline.
In overnight news, the U.K. economy grew at a paltry 1.4% in 2018, with the weak showing being mostly due to Brexit worries. This is yet another downbeat economic report coming out of Europe.
The continuing resolution passed by Congress a couple weeks ago expires on Friday, with the U.S. government set for another partial shutdown in the Democrats and President Trump cannot come to agreement on a budget plan. Another shutdown would be bearish for the U.S. stock market.
The key outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index firmer. Nymex crude oil prices slightly are weaker and trading just above $52.00 a barrel.
There are no major U.S. economic reports due for release Monday.
The iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was trading at $14.72 per share on Monday afternoon, down $0.11 (-0.74%). Year-to-date, SLV has declined -7.94%, versus a 1.84% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
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