The 3rd quarter of the year started off with the market hitting a new all-time high in July, but was subsequently reversed in August. The S&P 500 is up 20.55% year-to-date, marking the best first nine months of the year since 1997. The yield curve continued to stay inverted despite the Fed cutting rates by a quarter-point in both July and September, bringing down the overnight lending rate to a range of 1.75-2.00%. Opioid producers were hurt over the period as the first trial against drug manufacturers went to court with JNJ losing in the Oklahoma trial with an order to pay $572M, far below the $17B sought. The China-US Trade War continued over the period with Trump planning to impose a 10% tariff (not 25% which was earlier threatened) on an additional $300B in imports, with $125B going into effect September 1st and the remainder effective December 15th. China retaliated on $75B of US Exports with tariffs of 5-10% starting on September 1st and December 15th. Trump responded by increasing the proposed tariffs to 15% from 10% and increasing the current 25% tariffs on $250B of Chinese goods to 30% effective October 1st. China later announced the exclusion of 16 products from its retaliatory tariffs with Trump delaying the increase in $250B of imports to 30% until October 15th. The two countries are scheduled to have high-level talks at the beginning of October. Resolution for Brexit continues to be out of sight as Boris Johnson became Prime Minister and his plan to suspend parliament was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court. Boris Johnson continues to insist that the UK will leave with a no-deal Brexit at the end of October, however, he is legally bound to ask the EU for a delayed departure if he is unable to get a deal by October 19th. The quarter finished with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing a formal impeachment inquiry of President Trump over conduct related to Ukraine and a whistleblower complaint.
Bill Miller's 3Q 2019 Market Letter
3Q 2019 Market Infographic
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