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Market Recap

While domestic and geopolitical concerns continued to make daily headlines, the major stock market indices experienced another positive quarter. The 3rd quarter extended the upward momentum, allowing equity investors to continue enjoying solid returns for 2017.
Political stories dominated the headlines during the 2nd quarter, but investors were the beneficiaries of another set of solid gains for the major market indices although the ride was somewhat bumpy. Stocks were strengthened by good corporate earnings, the prospect of possible tax cuts, and strong economic numbers in the foreign markets. This extended gains from the 1st quarter, with the Dow’s YTD change at 8.03% closing at 21,350. The S&P YTD change through 6/30/17 was 8.24% closing at 2,423 while the NASDAQ was up 14.07% closing at 6,140 for the same time period.

Investing & Economic Commentary

The same populist sentiment that created Brexit earlier this year in Britain carried through in the American general elections yesterday. Very few polls had given Donald Trump any chance of winning the presidency, yet as the night wore on, it became increasingly obvious that America was voting for a dramatic change in course and against the status quo of American politics.
This morning, the government reported that the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.9% last quarter. This is a little stronger, but in line with, what we expected. We had said earlier that the slowdown experienced in the first half of the year appeared to be due to temporary factors, and that the bulk of the indicators we look at were pointing towards an acceleration in the second half of the year.

Financial Planning

Everything is in flux, but we are starting to see some compromise across the House and Senate. Below are many (but certainly not all) of the proposed tax law changes. This is fairly high level so not all the details are provided below, but enough are provided to give you an idea of where things are headed.
The GOP Senate tax proposal has been released with large contradictions to the House bill proposed a week earlier.