Economic Journal - Friday, 2/17/2017Submitted by Miller Financial Group, LLC on February 17th, 2017
It has been an impressive February in the markets so far with U.S. stocks up 3% to 4% spurred on by promises of President Donald Trump to reform taxes and invest in infrastructure. As we wrap up the week ahead of a three day weekend that risk appetite is pulling back today on the heels of Trump’s press conference yesterday where he stated that tax reform would happen after he moves to replace Obamacare in March. In early trading, the Dow is 0.2% lower and the S&P500 is off 0.14%. Many experts believe that the markets have already priced in the promise of tax cuts and increased infrastructure so any hint of these policy moves being delayed could lead to a pullback. A report on U.S. leading indicators is the only economic report for investors to chew on today. The U.S. leading economic index rose 0.6% in January which is a good sign for economic health in the early part of the year. The coincident index, which measures current conditions, rose 0.1% in January and the lagging index advanced by 0.3%. On the corporate news front, Deere & Co. reported better than expected earnings in the fourth quarter and there was news of a potential merger between Kraft Heinz and Unilever. Both oil and gold are lower today as are markets in Europe and Asia. The slow news day combined with it being the last trading day before Presidents Day holiday on Monday could contribute to a quiet day in the markets.