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The big news today is the White House's tax plan, which proposes to cut taxes across the board, relieve millions of people from the burden of paying income taxes, and make filing much simpler and easier—all while keeping the budget in balance (or at least not making the situation worse).
With Emmanuel Macron through to the second round, the French election is (largely) off the table as a systemic risk. Polls show Macron well ahead of Marine Le Pen of the National Front, and the likelihood is that the next French president will be a pro-European centrist rather than an anti-European populist.
First, there was hype and then improving sentiment in the real economy, along with a nice initial rush in the stock market. More recently, we’ve seen doubts and weak numbers creep in for the economy and worries and a small pullback for the stock market.
The monthly employment report comes out tomorrow, and markets are watching closely to see whether the string of positive surprises continues. If it does, it could be the start of a new upward run in the stock market. If not, it will suggest that economic strength may be starting to moderate. Either way, it will be big news.
It was a decent month and a great quarter for markets, both in the U.S. and around the world, says Commonwealth CIO Brad McMillan. Globally, economics are very positive, which supports financial markets. Fundamental factors are also improving, and that looks likely to continue. What do we need to worry about? One word: politics. Although markets have largely priced in U.S. political risk, Europe poses greater concerns. Overall, though, the picture is quite positive going forward. Follow Brad at blog.commonwealth.com/independent-market-observer.
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As we close out the first quarter of 2017, all I can say is that it’s been a great one, economically and financially. Despite all of the worry and turmoil—in Washington, DC, and elsewhere in the world—markets have risen substantially and the economy has continued to grow.
The big news of the day is that the United Kingdom has finally pulled the trigger on its exit from the European Union. The letter initiating Brexit was delivered this morning, and the parties now begin the two-year process of negotiating the exit terms and subsequent relationship.
Today, the Republicans are set to make a high-stakes gamble on one of their signature issues, repealing the Affordable Care Act. They don’t know whether the bill will pass, but at President Trump’s behest, they are bringing it to the floor.