December 18, 2017 – Weekly Market Commentary


Capitol Hill - Market Commentary

Jeff Cox – CNBC
Fed Raises Rates a Quarter Point, Hikes Growth Outlook for Economy

Summary: As expected, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate 0.25% from 1.25% to 1.50%. Additionally, the committee raised its growth forecasts for the economy. The Fed expects GDP to rise to 2.5% next year and for the unemployment rate to fall to 3.9%.


American Flag - Market Commentary

Kelly Phillips Erb – Forbes
Here’s What’s in the Final Version of the Tax Reform Bill 

Summary: The House and Senate reconciled the differences in their versions of a tax-reform bill over the weekend. A vote on the final version is expected this week. The final version includes changes to the rates which define the 7 tax brackets, an increase in standard deductions, and changes to mortgage interest deductions. Click the link to read about additional changes. 


Shopping Mall - Market Commentary

US Retail Sales Rose 0.8% in November vs 0.3% Increase Expected

Summary: US retail sales increased at more than double the expected rate in November. The data indicates sustained growth in consumer spending heading into the holiday shopping season. Strong consumer spending is important for the economy because it accounts for over two-thirds of US economic activity. 


Schwab Logo - Market Commentary

Cecilia Kang – The New York Times
F.C.C. Repeals Net Neutrality Rules

Summary: Telecom stocks outperformed last week after the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal rules that regulate businesses that connect consumers to the internet. Additionally, the federal government will no longer regulate high-speed internet delivery as if it were a utility. Supporters of the vote say that the changes will allow internet service providers (ISPs) to offer a wider variety of services. Opponents say that repealing the rules gives too much power to the ISPs by allowing companies to affect consumers’ online experiences. 


Bloomberg Business - Market Commentary

Brian Chappatta – Bloomberg Businessweek
The Yield Curve Is Flatter! Remind Me Why I Care

Summary: Now that the Fed has begun raising rates, the shape of the yield curve has been making headlines more often than usual. Investment analysts watch the yield curve because it has historically reflected how the investors feel about the economy and it has been a leading indicator of the past seven recessions. The current lack of inflation and the effect that an inverted yield curve may have on investors may keep the Fed from raising rates at a faster pace next year. 


Charles Schwab Logo - Market Commentary

Liz Ann Sonders – Charles Schwab
Whole Lotta Love…for Tax Reform?

Summary: Tax reform has been the latest headline factor driving stock market gains. Investors are encouraged by the prospects of higher earnings for the market caps and sectors that are likely to be the most affected by corporate tax reforms. Sonders says that we might be in a “buy the rumor, sell the news” situation with tax reform, but she suggests looking at pullbacks as buying opportunities. 





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