U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims fell 19,000 to 234,000 last week. The four-week moving average rose 4,500 to 224,750. DOL Report

U.S. News

Emre Peker at the Wall Street Journal reports that eurozone economic growth is expected to slow significantly as global trade and the increasing risk of a chaotic Brexit weigh on the currency union. In addition to the U.S.-China trade dispute, Italy’s ballooning national debt and the weakening manufacturing and export outlook in Germany will act as headwinds for the E.U. in 2019. WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, despite steady declines in foreign ownership of U.S. government debt over the last decade, there has not been a notable jump in government bond yields because U.S. investors have a strong appetite for government debt. Although domestic investors have picked up the slack due to weaker foreign demand, some analysts say that this trend cannot continue forever and that the U.S. may face issues trying to fund itself in the future. WSJ

The New York Times reports that the USMCA deal, President Trump’s replacement to NAFTA, has little chance of passing Congress without significant changes. While Democrats maintain the deal does not go far enough to protect workers and the environment, Republicans say it goes too far in restricting trade. NY Times