Economic Journal - Tuesday, 2/28/2017Submitted by Miller Financial Group, LLC on February 28th, 2017
US stocks slipped early Tuesday morning after finishing modestly higher on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is coming off its 12th consecutive record close Monday, the longest streak of that kind since 1987. If the blue-chip index can rally back from today’s slow start and finish higher it would be the first time in history for the index to post 13 straight record finishes. Investors are keeping a close eye on President Trump’s first speech to a joint session of Congress tonight, watching for specific details on the President’s tax reform proposals and other fiscal policies. Economic news today has been positive. The February Chicago PMI (a reading on manufacturing activity) jumped to a 2 year high with a number that far exceeded expectations. Consumer confidence also soared to a 15 year high in February while the second estimate of GDP growth for Q4 came in just shy of analyst estimates. In general, economic data has been quite strong lately leading many to believe the Federal Reserve’s next interest rate hike will come at their March meeting. Speaking of the Fed, three officials hit the podiums later this afternoon providing commentary on the US economy and the monetary policy of the Central Bank. Overseas action is quiet today with Asian markets finishing mixed while European stocks are up modestly. In other markets, oil is down today while gold is trading flat. Interest rates and the US dollar index are down.