Slow persistent growth has been the theme of the expansion since the depths of the financial crisis; fourth quarter U.S. GDP came in at a 2.6% annual rate of expansion which was below the preceding two quarters each north of 3%. The preliminary estimate of growth during the entirety of 2017 was 2.5% which exceeds the average 2.0% average that has prevailed in all of the 2000s. Global leaders gathered this week in Davos for the World Economic Forum with an official narrative titled, “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.” President Trump is the first U.S. leader to attend the summit since President Clinton in 2000.
The U.S. large company index gained for a fourth straight week as earnings and profits are adding strength to the equity market sentiment. On another note, the U.S. dollar has fallen to a three year low against major currencies with movements being sparked by global leader comments. Fixed income investments are in a poorer state due to the 10-year Treasury yield approaching the highest level in three years, quite the opposite of the theme of a flattening curve throughout the majority of 2017. Emerging market stocks continue an unstoppable path higher thus far in 2018 posting a double digit return before the first month-end.
Click below image for larger view.