U.S. Economic Indicators

The headline Producer Price Index (“PPI”) for final demand edged up 0.1% in December and is up 1.3% year-over-year. The core — which removes the volatile prices of food, energy, and trade services — also rose 0.1% in December and is up 1.5% from a year ago.  BLS Report

The January Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that business activity was little changed as the headline index inched up 1.5 points to 4.8. The new orders index rose 4.9 points to 6.6, while the shipments index declined 0.9 point to 8.6; meanwhile, the index for number of employees fell 1.4 points to 9.0, and the hours worked index was positive, indicating a slightly longer workweek. NY Fed Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. and China are preparing to sign the first phase of a trade deal this morning that will include around $200 billion in Chinese purchases of American goods and services over the next two years. The pact is also expected to include suspension of planned U.S. tariff increases, reductions of some existing U.S. tariffs, and pledges from China to give U.S. companies greater access to its financial sector and better intellectual property protection. WSJ