US Stocks finished mostly unchanged last week with earnings season coming to an end, investors are now focused on trade negotiations between the US and China. Investors are also focused on Washington and the looming second government shutdown possibly starting on Friday.

You can thank falling inflation for the 5 week rally in the stock market. The Federal Reserve did an about-face last month after they raised rates in December. The decline in inflation gave the Fed the cushion to leave rates unchanged with the consumer price index at it’s lowest level since the summer of 2016. There is now a 50/50 chance that the Fed actually cuts rates sometime in 2019.

The first tax-filing season under the new tax law has gotten off to a slow start with filers seeing smaller average refunds, according to the IRS. 16 million returns have been filed so far with the average refund down 8% to $1,865.

And a coalition of more than 150 Oregon farmers, retailers, and other businesses have calculated that Oregon businesses paid $84 million in added tariffs since last October. Oregon companies also felt the burden of retaliatory tariffs on their finished goods sent to China