Economic Update 12-27-2017
Economic releases last week consisted of very strong results in housing and manufacturing, as well as the broad measure of leading economic indicators, mixed results from personal income/spending and durable goods orders and slightly worse sentiment and jobless claims.
U.S. equities gained with tax reform efforts wrapping up, which boosted pre-Holiday sentiment. Foreign equities outperformed with help from a weaker dollar. Bonds generally lost ground as interest rates gained across the curve. Commodities also rose slightly, along with the price of crude oil.
U.S. stocks gained on the week as tax reform made its final strides through the legislative process, slated to take effect Jan. 1, although most volume occurred earlier in the week. From a sector standpoint, energy experienced sharp gains in keeping with higher prices for crude oil. Utilities lagged with negative returns on the week, with higher interest rates and perhaps various aspects of the new tax bill which do not favor the utilities sector. Interestingly, a sharp drop in the price of Bitcoin over the past week, nearing a third of its value, did not appear to carry over to other financial markets. Continue reading