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Monthly Market Update for May

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

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Please find the next blog in our monthly series that provides timely market data as well as perspectives on the current state of the economy and the global financial markets. Global Economy: The month of May brought the withdrawal of the US from the Iran Nuclear agreement, the end of the exemption on steel and aluminum tariffs for key US allies, and no noticeable progress on a revision to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). After a series of on-again / off-again communications, the leaders of the US and North Korea now appear set to meet in Singapore on…

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Monthly Market Update for April

Thursday, May 10, 2018

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Please find the next blog in our monthly series that provides timely market data as well as perspectives on the current state of the economy and the global financial markets. Global Economy: Uncertainty over trade continues, with no clear direction.  There has been an extension of the exemption on aluminum and steel tariffs for “friends” until June 1st, and the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is still up in the air.  Talks continue with China, but there has been no measurable progress.  On a positive note, North Korea has shown a willingness to embrace peace, with…

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Monthly Market Update for March

Friday, April 13, 2018

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Please find the next blog in our monthly series that provides timely market data as well as perspectives on the current state of the economy and the global financial markets. Global Economy: Uncertainty over trade and instability in the Trump White House were the themes of the month, causing most equity markets to move lower.  Initially focused on steel and aluminum, tariffs were then directed at Chinese imports specifically, leading to retaliatory moves by the Chinese.  President Trump’s top economic advisor resigned in March amid speculation that he was strongly against tariffs and breaking up the North American Free Trade…

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Update from the Recent Fed Meeting

Thursday, March 22, 2018

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As expected, the Fed increased rates by 25 bps and continues to project two additional rate increases for this year. Policy Normalization on Target: In a unanimous vote, the FOMC voted to raise the target range for the Fed Funds rate to 1.5% to 1.75%. This 25bps hike was well-telegraphed and completely expected by the market, with a recent implied probability of action of effectively 100%. Beyond rate increases, the quantitative tightening policy that began reducing the Fed’s $4.5 trillion stockpile of assets in October will increase its pace in April. Principal payments will be reinvested only to the extent…

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Monthly Market Update for February

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

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Please find the next blog in our monthly series that provides timely market data as well as perspectives on the current state of the economy and the global financial markets. Global Economy: The ongoing growth and inflation story took center stage in February, as markets re-priced the potential for overheating.  Concerns over rising wages fueled the fire early in the month, with the January data showing average hourly wages increasing by 2.9% year-over-year. Despite the latest reading on 4Q-17 GDP being revised down slightly to 2.5%, reports on the US economy and corporate fundamentals continue to display signs of strength. …

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Monthly Market Update for January

Thursday, February 15, 2018

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Please find the next blog in our monthly series that provides timely market data as well as perspectives on the current state of the economy and the global financial markets. Global Economy: The impact of exchange rates on individual economies is becoming increasingly relevant.  As market participants anticipate rising inflation in the US, the weakening of the US dollar against most major currencies may ultimately become a driving factor.  Conversely, the strengthening Euro, which hurts exports, is a headwind to growth in the Eurozone. The US economy continues to display solid fundamentals, with strong consumer and business confidence.  While the…

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Market Volatility

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

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The last several trading days have reminded us that equity markets do in fact have volatility.  This volatility in the near-term can be very unsettling for us as investors.  Warren Buffet made a famous statement concerning the markets, “In the short run, the market is a voting machine, but in the long run, it is a weighting machine.”  Meaning, in the short-term markets are driven by emotions of fear and greed, but in the long-term fundamentals matter. With this stated, we are reminding our clients of the following: Keep your view long in its focus. In the near-term no one…

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Tax Reform – Impact on the Economy and Taxpayers

Thursday, January 25, 2018

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Summary Impact on Economy – Short-term improvement in GDP, long-term impact unclear Impact on Corporations – Highest tax payers experience greatest benefit, highly leveraged businesses may suffer Impact on Individuals – It depends on specific circumstances History and Background: The Republican-led Congress passed, and the President has now signed into law, the most sweeping tax reform legislation since 1986. Formally known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the legislation affects both individual and corporate tax rates. Individual tax rates change minimally, with slightly lower rates for five of the seven tax brackets. Key changes include 1) elimination of the…

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Monthly Market Update for December

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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Please find the next blog in our monthly series that provides timely market data as well as perspectives on the current state of the economy and the global financial markets. Global Economy: President Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the most sweeping change to our nation’s tax code in more than 30 years.  Addressing primarily corporate tax rates, the legislation also adjusted some personal tax rates and modified several key deductions/credits.  Having been in the works for much of 2017, the reaction from the markets has been somewhat muted.  Growth momentum continues to be strong in…

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Year-end Planning Opportunities

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

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Recently, congress passed the biggest overhaul of the tax code since 1986. As far as year-end planning, here are a few reminders on planning opportunities: Ordinary Income – in situations where you have flexibility to control the timing between 2017 and 2018, in most cases recognizing this next year will allow you to benefit from lower marginal tax rates. State and Local Income Taxes – given the cap being implemented on state and local taxes as a deduction beginning in 2018, you would benefit from the prepayment of any state and local taxes by December 31, 2017. Charity – For…

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