First Quarter 2017 Market Commentary

The opening quarter of 2017 was a historic one for Wall Street as the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 20,000 for the first time.  Equities rallied through January and February, then lost momentum in March; even so, the S&P 500 gained 5.53% YTD at quarter end.  The Federal Reserve (“the Fed”) raised the federal funds rate for only the third time in a decade in response to strengthening inflation pressure and other signals economic acceleration.  Consumer confidence remained high.  Commodities had a decidedly mixed quarter.  New home sales improved, while existing home sales tapered off.  The United Kingdom took another step toward its Brexit, and the United States left the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  Wall Street kept its hopes up for tax reform and lighter business and banking industry regulation.

 

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Contributed by: Randall T. Graham, Jr.
Vice President