This week’s Sentiment Survey special question asked AAII members what they thought would most influence the direction of stock prices in 2019. Nearly tied were trade (38% of all respondents) and Washington politics (37%). Responses regarding trade focused mainly on China, with some AAII members saying it depends on whether a settlement is reached. Responses regarding politics were more varied with AAII members bringing up President Donald Trump, the Democrats, ongoing gridlock or the current partial shutdown. Also listed as influences were the direction of corporate earnings growth (16% of all respondents), the Federal Reserve (14%) and economic growth (10%). Many respondents listed more than one potential influence.
Here is a sampling of the responses:
- “The resolution of the U.S.-China trade negotiations.”
- “China tariff issues; tensions between President Trump and Congress.”
- “Fed policy going forward.”
- “The lack of a functional government is making things much worse.”
- “The economy and company profits.”
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