Economic Journal - Wednesday, 2/15/2017Submitted by Miller Financial Group, LLC on February 15th, 2017
U.S. stocks are pushing once again toward record levels this morning. Currently the Dow is up nearly 0.5% and the S&P500 is up over 0.25%. The Nasdaq is in positive territory as well and if it ends the day in the green, it will match its longest winning streak since December 27, 1999. The attention yesterday was on testimony from Fed Chair Janet Yellen in front of the Senate Banking Committee. She finishes her testimony today and the key takeaways from her comments have been that the Fed expects to hold steady on gradual interest rate increases through the balance of 2017 and that an increase in March is likely. The markets are responding positively because the sentiment is that the rate hikes are being forged by a strengthening economy. There is plenty of economic news for investors to chew on this morning. The Consumer Price Index for January increased 0.6% which is the largest increase since 2013. Total CPI is up 2.5% which is the largest 12 month increase since March of 2012. Retail sales are showing some positive signs with an increase in January of 0.4% which was above expectations. The economic data and attention on Fed Chair Yellen has distracted investors from what has been a politically dominated start to 2017. Although, there will be some attention paid to the resignation of National Security Advisor Flynn. Earnings season is wrapping up with PepsiCo reporting that they topped fourth quarter earnings estimates but disappointed with its FY 17 guidance. Results in Europe and Asia are mostly in the green as is Oil and Gold.