Central Banks Help Stocks Hit New Highs | Week in Review 12/15/2017


Central Banks Help Stocks Hit New Highs

Stocks rallied nicely after nearly every major central bank in the world made it clear that they will move very slowly to “normalize” rates.  Additionally, politicians in D.C. made a big step to help pass the tax reform bill. Earlier this month, I wrote, the major indices are “down” for the month, but they will most probably end “higher” because we are in a very strong bull market and December tends to be a bullish month for Wall Street. So far, that is exactly what is happening. 


A Closer Look at What Happened Last Week…

Mon-Wed Action:

Stocks were quiet on Monday after a pipe bomb was detonated in Times Square. Thankfully, the NYPD acted fast, have the person in custody and the situation was resolved quickly.  In other news, bitcoin futures started trading last Sunday night without a problem.

Stocks ended mixed on Tuesday as the Dow jumped over 100 points but the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended in the red. News broke that a possible tax deal would be reached if the corporate tax rate came down to 21%. Remember, the tax cut, in its current form, takes away a few deductions that tech companies use heavily (mainly intellectual property and capital spending). But the cut from 35% to 20 or 21% is more than enough to make up for those deductions. The Fed began its two-day meeting on Tuesday. Jerome Powell is set to take over in February when Janet Yellen’s term ends. The Fed is currently forecasting it will raise rates three times in 2018. After the close, Democrat Doug Jones won the election for the Alabama Senate.

Stocks were quiet on Wednesday after the Fed raised rates (which was largely expected) by another quarter point to 1.50%, up from 1.25%. Separately, weekly mortgage applications fell -2.3% which is largely expected as rates rise. China’s Central Bank also raised their rate for money markets.

Thur & Fri Action:

Before Thursday’s open, the European Central Bank held its last meeting of 2017. The ECB said it wants to normalize monetary policy but will do it slowly. In M&A news, Disney acquired Fox. Stocks rallied on Friday as buyers showed up and continued to buy the latest “dip.”


Market Outlook: Bulls Are Strong

The bulls are back in control and the market remains very strong. As always, keep your losses small and never argue with the tape.


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