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In observance of Presidents Day, our locations will be closed on Monday, February 19, 2018.

The Weekly Economic & Market Recap     

February 16, 2018

The equity market melt-up in December and January was caused by optimism over economic expectations and earnings for 2018 as investors assessed the positive economic impact of corporate tax reform. The S&P 500 index rose 8.7% from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. The increase was uncomfortably fast for many traders and technicians. Some fundamental analysts cautioned that valuations were extended and ahead of the fundamentals. Rising real bond yields and modestly higher inflation expectations created a brief market dislocation in February as market participants considered the appropriate discount rate for equity earnings. Equities were ripe for a drawdown. Investors have been speculating that the equity market was “due for a correction” for many months. Often the collective psychology of investors creates the very condition that is feared. Fundamentals ultimately emerge and drive markets in the appropriate direction. Despite higher rates, equities recovered this week as investors became more comfortable with valuations after robust earnings releases. According to Zacks Research, total earnings for the S&P 500 for the fourth quarter are expected to be up 13.9% from the same period last year. The days of extremely low inflation and interest rates are over, for now, so we can expect high volatility and very limited multiple expansion for equities. For the near-term, fundamentals remain solid.

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