January 2017 Market Insight

Political Headlines and Rallying Stocks

Flipping through The Wall Street Journal for the past month, one might see front page headlines such as: “The Trump Era Dawns”, “Trump Embarks With Heavy Slate”, “Trump Focuses on Trade and Jobs”, “Trump Revives Pipeline Projects” or “Trump Deepens Rift With Mexico”. At the inauguration ceremony of the 45th President of the United States, promises were made to give the power “back to you, the people”.

Investors are watching to see what will actually get done in Washington. With the new government in place, expectations versus reality come into play. Will there be reform in corporate tax rates, deregulation, or infrastructure spending? On these expectations of fiscal stimulus and sentiment from some political headlines, US stocks (S&P 500) have rallied 1.9% so far this year, and the Dow closed above 20,000 points for the first time. This stock rally is not confined to the US alone, with non-US stocks gaining over 2.98%, per the MSCI World ex USA.

In addition to politics, we continue to watch the Fed (with several meetings in this first quarter) to see if interest rates will continue to march higher. We also continue to monitor economic data to see if growth and corporate earnings will pick up. In the long run, it will take improved corporate earnings to sustain the recent rally.

If you have specific questions about your investments, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Here is a recap of major market returns in January :

MSCI World ex USA (international developed) 2.98
S&P 500 (US large cap) 1.90
Russell 2000 (US small cap) 0.39
Barclays US Aggregate Bond
See my paycheck
Enter work hours
Review investment statements