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Key Events In The Coming Week: Trump Inauguration, Davos, Theresa May, ECB, China GDP

The week ahead will be a busy one, with a plethora of events including the Davos shindig, where particular focus will be on Chinese President Xi Jinping, the first Chinese president to attend. China will also announce GDP on Friday, which also marks the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th US president. Tuesday brings Theresa May's long-awaited Brexit speech.

Howard Marks: "So Much For The Experts"

"The opinions of experts concerning the future are accorded great weight . . . but they’re still just opinions. While I take a dim view of forecasts, and especially of opinions presented as facts, I do believe there are such things as facts.  Unfortunately, however, the concept of 'facts' is among the casualties of the increasingly partisan environment.  Recently we have seen both the elevation in status of 'non-facts', as well as the tearing down of 'real facts'."

Futures Rise On Friday 13th Ahead Of Deluge Of Bank Earnings; Dollar Continues To Decline

European shares rose as Fiat rebounded on hopes concerns about parallel to Volkswagen are overblown, Asian stocks were little as Chinese shares fell to the lowest level of 2017 after poor export data, and U.S. equity-index futures rose ahead of a deluge of bank earnings. The dollar is headed for a weekly loss and gold trades at the highest price in almost two months.

The Corporate Bond Market: Binge-Borrowing

For those tapping the fixed income markets, the borrowing bingefest is conspicuous in its constancy. Not only did global bond issuance top $6.6 trillion last year, a fresh record, sales are off to a galloping start thus far in January.

Hoover's Folly

It is premature to make investment decisions based on rhetoric and threats. It is also possible that much of this bluster could simply be the opening bid in what is a peaceful renegotiation of global trade agreements. Regardless, we must pay close attention as trade conflicts and their consequences can escalate quickly.

BofA Finds Consumer Spending Tumbled In December, Warns Of Disappointing Retail Sales

According to BofA, retail sales ex-autos declined 1.0% mom seasonally adjusted in December. "This contrasts with other indicators of consumer strength including reports of a robust holiday shopping season, a rebound in consumer confidence and strong autos sales... we think it is prudent to prepare for a similarly negative number in Friday's report."