Friday, January 5, 2018

Market at Record High

The economy and market had a supercharged year. Both the U.S. and world stock indexes reached historic highs.
  • The American government helped with stability in the Fed with transition from well-respected Janet Yellen to a similarly disposed, Jerome Powell.
  • The growth-oriented Trump administration and Republican Congress helped the market with promises of deregulation and lower taxes. Central banks and governments around the world were market- and growth-oriented, helping to encourage and synchronize recovery from the 2008-9 great recession.
  • Bad things either didn’t happen or the consequences were absorbed without much disruption. A pro-EU French government was elected; Brexit has yet to damage UK markets; China slowed, but maintains growth; hurricanes, floods and fires were short-term effects; and the world’s hot spots were more about rhetoric than confrontation. The major fight in Syria and Iraq has ended reasonably well.
  • The technology sector boomed with new applications for communication, entertainment, retail and transportation:  FANG, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google.
Analysts mostly missed the 2017 25 percent surge in the Dow (28% in the NASDAQ). Now, they mostly see a positive, but less exuberant in 2018.

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