In 2017, markets soared to new highs on solid economic expansion. The S&P 500, Dow and NASDAQ all repeatedly broke new records. And, with record low volatility, the bull market just kept charging. President Trump’s inauguration in January further encouraged the already growing markets. The solid market performances also helped push the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates 3 times throughout the year. During the summer, some investors expressed concern over key events: Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. A focus on market fundamentals became crucial. Keeping this perspective helped investors to capitalize on the economy’s upward momentum. In December, the House and Senate reached an agreement on a tax reform bill that supporters claim will help businesses and boost the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). On December 22, President Trump signed the bill into law. Finally, despite posting losses in the year’s last trading week, all major domestic indexes still ended 2017 far higher than where they began. We’re confident that the U.S. economy is on the right track. Yet, we know that the stock market doesn’t always follow the economy. Though there’s still room for improvement in 2018, our economy reflects strength and potential—especially when compared to 2008. Now, the past can’t predict the future. And financial markets don’t always act in concert with the economy. However, barring some unexpected economic shocks, we’re confident that economic growth will continue in 2018.
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