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March 20 , 2017
Statistic of the Week: 
The inflation rate of medical costs for 2017 is expected to be the same as it was in 2016: 6.5%. About 50% of employer heath care costs are attributed to hospital inpatient and outpatient care; however, the share of costs for prescription drugs are rising.
Global Perspective: 
The Chinese economy grew at a rate of 6.8% in the fourth quarter and 6.7% for all of 2016. The growth rate falls in line with the central government’s target of 6.5%-7%. However, these figures are once again being questioned as a governor of the Liaoning province admitted that his province’s fiscal numbers had been falsified from 2011-2014.
Market Moving Events: 
Monday: Pending Home Sales Tuesday: Consumer Confidence Wednesday: Vehicle Sales, ISM Manufacturing Index, Construction Spending, FOMC Meeting Announcement Thursday: Jobless Claims, Productivity Friday: Employment Situation, Factory Orders, ISM Non-Manufacturing Index
Commentary: 
With a strong rally on Friday, US equity indices reached record highs and the DJIA pushed past the psychological barrier of 20.000.1 (It should be noted that the Dow is comprised of only 30 stocks, and that the index is price-weighted). The S&P 500 rose 1.04% on the week,2 and has risen just over 1.75% in January.3 International stocks have been putting in larger moves so far, with the MSCI EAFE up just under 3.5% this month.4 Sub-par growth prospects, severe currency fluctuations, and uncertainty over international trade agreements have made the prospect of investing internationally daunting for US investors in recent years. The yield on the 10-year Treasury closed the week virtually unchanged from the week prior at 2.49%.5 With the headline of “Dow 20,000” flashing over the weekend, some investors that have been waiting on the sidelines since the 2008 financial crisis will inevitably wonder if now is a “good time” to buy stocks. Commentary on the event from Goldman Sachs stated, “we are reminded that US equity valuations are full, growth expectations are modest, and 10-Year Treasury rates are low. We think the current state of the US equity market calls for risk awareness and diversification across asset classes.”6 We could not agree more. In the week ahead, we will get a glimpse into the consumer psyche with both the Consumer Confidence and ISM Non-Manufacturing Index figures. Analysts will be watching for changes in consumer behavior in the Trump era. - Dan McElwee, CFP®
Chart of the Week: 
About Ventura Wealth Management: 
Ventura Wealth Management is an independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). Unparalleled service, objective advice, and comprehensive planning act as the central pillars of our client experience. We are dedicated to building long-term client relationships through diligent management, custom portfolios, client education, and ongoing financial review
Sources: 

Statistic of the Week:

Benefits Pro Magazine

 

Global Perspective:

The Economist

 

Market Moving Data:

Bloomberg.com

 

Chart of the Week:

Haver Analytics / Bureau of Economic Analysis

 

Commentary:

1.Bloomberg
2.Bloomberg
3.Bloomberg
4.Bloomberg
5.Bloomberg
6.Goldman Sachs Asset Management
 
Contact Information: 

Phone: 609.671.9100

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Fax: 609.671.9199

 

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