U.S. markets reacted positively to the Trump administration tax proposal. For the week, the S&P 500 climbed 0.7% higher. The MSCI ACWI was basically unchanged. The Bloomberg BarCap U.S. Aggregate Bond Index slipped -0.1%.
The global economy continues to expand while politicians in countries such as the U.S. and Japan focus on revving up economic growth through tax reform or additional spending. In the U.S., the Federal Reserve continues to wrestle over whether or not to raise rates while inflation is below 2%.
Key Points for The Week
- A speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen and estimates for declining unemployment raised the odds of an interest rate hike in December.
- President Trump’s tax plan provides a framework for rates, but expect adjustments in Congress.
- Major global economies are all in expansion mode for the first time since 2007.
- The S&P 500 has been up every month so far this year.
What are we reading?
Below are some areas of the market we paid particularly close attention to this week. For further information, we encourage our readers to follow the links.
Earlier this week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said increasing rates too gradually could lead to a lagged inflation problem down the road. Yellen’s comments show she is in the majority at the central bank, which favors one more rate hike before year-end. Markets have priced in a 70% chance for a December rate hike.
President Donald Trump and Republican leaders hope to drop the highest income tax rate to 35% and dramatically reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%. Part of their plan, unveiled last week, includes protections to prevent wealthier people from skewing their income to make them eligible to receive the small business rate, which Trump plans on lowering to 25% from 39.6%. Trump’s plan also includes doubling the standard deduction for most households. The tax reform plan will likely go through many adjustments as 45 of 48 Democratic U.S. Senators have stated they will not support a tax bill that adds to the deficit.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced an $18 billion economic package last week. He revealed numerous economic measures in the package, including higher spending on education, which would be funded by an increased tax rate. This plan is much different from the previous one, which aimed to reduce the nation’s debt. Abe also called for a snap election, saying he is changing a pledge made to the public so must seek the will of the people.
Fun Story of the Week
Getting into an elite college is a tough task. Two students in Kansas have taken a unique approach to standing out by hoping to add “Governor of Kansas” to their resumes. Tyler Ruzich, who will soon turn 17, has entered the race for governor, making him the second teenager to do so. The two teen candidates happen to be from different parties, so there’s a chance the final candidates could be two 17-year-olds. All jokes aside, Ruzich is ready to win.
This newsletter was written and produced by CWM, LLC. Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of CWM, LLC and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
S&P 500 INDEX
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.
MSCI ACWI INDEX
The MSCI ACWI captures large- and mid-cap representation across 23 developed markets (DM) and 23 emerging markets (EM) countries*. With 2,480 constituents, the index covers approximately 85% of the global investable equity opportunity set.
Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index
The Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is an index of the U.S. investment-grade fixed-rate bond market, including both government and corporate bonds.