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November Concludes With Gains

As November wrapped up, U.S. equity benchmarks advanced. Stocks were again aided by a sense of optimism that a preliminary U.S.-China trade deal could be near. For the week, the Nasdaq Composite added 1.87%; the S&P 500, 1.21%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 1.03%. The MSCI EAFE index, which measures the performance of developed stock markets outside North America, gained 0.89%.

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Major Indices Move Lower

Stocks declined last week as mixed signals emerged about the progress of U.S.-China trade negotiations. The three major Wall Street benchmarks all took weekly losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.46%; the S&P 500, 0.33%, the Nasdaq Composite, 0.25%. Also pulling back, the MSCI EAFE index, tracking developed stock markets outside the U.S. and Canada, retreated 0.69%.

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More Historic Highs

This net increase far surpassed the gain of 85,000 projected by a Bloomberg poll of economists. These job gains occurred even as last month’s General Motors strike impacted hiring in the manufacturing sector. Unemployment rose slightly to 3.6% in October, an effect of more people entering the job market.

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Another Hint of Progress in Trade Talks

Friday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative stated that parts of a new trade deal with China were near completion. No specifics were given as of Friday’s close, but the USTR noted that negotiators had “made headway” on key issues. Analysts think both sides may cancel certain tariffs as part of a deal.

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