U.S. Economic Indicators

New factory orders for manufactured goods decreased 0.6% in November following a 2.1% (revised) drop in October, but are up 7.9% year to date. New orders excluding transportation fell 1.3% while new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft fell 0.6%. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

According to the Wall Street Journal, Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan believes the Fed will halt interest rate increases until at least the summer. A slowing global economy, tight financial conditions, and muted inflationary pressures all contributed to the Fed’s recent decision to keep the target rate between 2.25% and 2.50%. WSJ

Ruth Simon of the Wall Street Journal reports that after a strong 2018, many small businesses are becoming more cautious about their investment and hiring plans. Small businesses are responding to early signs of slowing sales, tariffs, volatile financial markets, and residual effects of the government shutdown, according to a survey conducted for the Wall Street Journal. WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reports that the weakness in global trade flows is worsening more quickly than expected. Although the U.S. and China are reportedly moving closer to a deal that would end their trade war, a rapidly-dimming global expansion and tight financial conditions have dampened demand for exports. WSJ