U.S. Economic Indicators

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index declined 3.2 points to 101.2 in January, as seven of the components decreased and three improved. Expectations that the economy will improve dropped ten points. NFIB Report


U.S. News

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (“JOLTS”), a closely-watched measure of labor market health, indicated there were 7.3 million job openings at the end of December, an all-time high.  Hires edged up to 5.9 million while the quits rate remained at 2.3%.  BLS Report
 
Stephanie Yang of the Wall Street Journal writes that oil-demand weakness in Germany may be a greater threat to oil markets than demand weakness in China. German oil demand, which represents just 2% of global demand, declined on an annual basis for nine consecutive months in 2018 and could spread throughout the rest of Europe, further weakening demand for oil. WSJ
 
The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. and Chinese negotiators are meeting again this week to develop a broad outline for a trade agreement. Officials meeting in Beijing will attempt to close the substantial gap between the two sides before the March 1st deadline that marks the end of the temporary ceasefire on new tariffs. WSJ