Stocks closed mixed on Friday, but mostly recovered from early losses. The muted performance is attributable to fourth-quarter earnings, negotiations over a China trade deal and the insipid debt ceiling issues.

The 10-year Treasury yield closed Friday at 2.63%, down from 2.69% the prior week. Last week’s economic reports, which included some catch-ups from prior weeks as government agencies re-opened following the partial shutdown, were generally soft. Motor vehicle sales were reported at 17.5 million in December and 16.6 million annualized in January, with the latter showing a significant drop in light truck sales. Factory orders for November fell 0.6%, hurt by oil’s price drop late last year. The ISM non-manufacturing index for January was 56.7, down from the prior month and below the consensus, but still well into expansionary territory. The government shutdown has likely skewed some economic figures downward as both consumers and businesses paused their spending given uncertainty. Click here to read more…

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