U.S. Economic Indicators

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index dropped 3.1 percentage points to 57.6 in December. The New Orders Index edged up 0.2 percentage point to 62.7 while the Employment Index fell 2.1 percentage points to 56.3. ISM Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that China’s economy is slowing faster than expected as U.S. and Chinese officials begin trade negotiations. In recent months, senior Chinese officials have sought to downplay the impact of the trade war on the economy, stating the conflict is hurting only the nation’s stock indexes. WSJ

According to the Financial Times, investors began the year unprepared for the renewed volatility resulting from the Federal Reserve tightening credit and shrinking its balance sheet. The author states that the central issues are the wholesale derating of equity and credit risk assets in addition to a fall in Treasury yields as investors seek liquidity. FT

The Wall Street Journal reports that mortgage rates have fallen to their lowest levels in eight months, offering a potential boost to the housing market. The decline may give consumers another opportunity to receive a lower rate on loans to purchase or refinance their homes. WSJ