Commerce Is Our Goal By: Gabriel PotterMBA, AIFA® 2017.02.21

The US stock market is again hitting record highs today.  Why?  Key retailers posted better than anticipated profits and earnings.  These businesses are not necessarily growing earnings in an absolute sense, but they still performed better than expected.  Brick-and-mortar retail shops struggle to retain customers and high profit margins in a digital age – large players including Macy’s and Wal-Mart – but their restructuring efforts (including store closures, layoffs, and cheap holiday deals) have been absorbed with minimal trouble.  As a result, earnings and profit reports have beat Wall Street expectations.  This is still good news:  fundamental resilience has been reflected by positive markets.  Moreover, investor sentiment is pretty positive.  Investors generally like Trump’s promises of large tax cuts and large infrastructure spending projects, which both boost markets.  It remains to be seen what, if any, of these proposals come to fruition but, as we have mentioned before, even if nothing he proposes gets enacted, the business environment is fundamentally sound.  The worry, as we have noted before, is if he is able to enact some of his inadvisable policies.  For now, we’ll just have to wait and see.

 

Gabriel Potter

Gabriel is a Senior Investment Research Associate at Westminster Consulting, where he is responsible for designing strategic asset allocations and conducts proprietary market research.

An avid writer, Gabriel manages the firm’s blog and has been published in the Journal of Compensation and Benefits,...

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