The “Heat Map”

December 15th, 2016

Most of the time, the U.S. stock market looks to 3 factors (call them the “pillars” which support the stock market) to support its upward trend – let’s grade each of the pillars.

CONSUMER SPENDING: This grade is A- (very favorable). Favorable activity in the housing market continues to support growth in the level of spending. This category’s grade will improve if and when the Trump legislation is passed.

THE FED AND ITS POLICIES: This factor is rated C- (DOWN FROM A). Yesterday, the FED raised interest rates .25%. The FED also signaled it might raise rates three times during 2017 which exceeded bond market experts’ prediction of 2 moves during 2017. And, the FED stated it would take a wait and see attitude toward the economic impact of legislation the Trump Administrations has proposed. Some experts believe the FED could raise rates at a faster pace if and when the Trump proposed legislation is passed into law. The FED is in the process of turning from a friend to the stock market to an anchor weighing down profitability, reducing valuations, and constraining growth.

BUSINESS PROFITABILITY: This factor’s grade is rated a B- (above average). Trump’s goal is a 4% growth rate for the U.S. economy. This will increase business profits significantly.

OTHER CONCERNS: The “Heat Map” is indicating the U.S. stock market is in OK shape ASSUMING no international crisis. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of crisis, we rate these international risks collectively as a 3 (decrease from the last Weekly Commentary).  These risks deserve our ongoing attention.

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