Economic Journal - Friday, 3/17/2017Submitted by Miller Financial Group, LLC on March 17th, 2017
US stocks inched higher Friday as investors kept their eyes on several political meetings scheduled throughout the day. Finance Ministers from the Group of 20, including newly elected US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are meeting in Germany today to discuss current geopolitical issues – the first major global interaction for the new administration. Meanwhile the President is set to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Washington today after their meeting was postponed earlier in the week. Markets are relatively calm ahead of the weekend, but look poised to secure modest gains on the week. The S&P500 is on track for a 0.4% weekly gain, while the Dow looks set to notch gains of 0.2%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index is on track for 0.7% gains as outperformance in the tech sector this week helped push the index higher. The market uptrend remains intact even after this week’s announcement from the Federal Reserve that the central bank would raise interest rates for the second time since December 2015. Bond yields have come down since Wednesday’s announcement, perhaps an indication that the Fed rate hike had already been fully priced in. The 10 yr. treasury yield has fallen 10 basis points to 2.5% after breaking over the key 2.6% level earlier in the week. Economic data continues to come in strong. Friday’s data included a better than expected reading on consumer sentiment and leading indicators, while a report on industrial production missed analyst’s estimates slightly. In overseas action markets were mixed as international investors remained cautious ahead of the G-20 meeting.