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May 15 , 2017
Statistic of the Week: 
At the end of the fourth quarter, total debt for Americans was approximately $12.6 trillion, close to the 2008 level of $12.7 trillion. Mortgage debt is approximately $9 trillion. That figure is significantly lower than where it was in 2008, and interest payments are notably lower.
Global Perspective: 
With the British pound under severe “Brexit” pressures, the British tourist has benefited from the relative decline in the currency. In January, 910,000 vacationers traveled to the UK, a 19% increase from last year. British retail sales have been aided by the dual trend, as more purchasing has occurred from additional tourism.
Market Moving Events: 
Tuesday: International Trade, Consumer Confidence, Richmond Fed Manufacturing Wednesday: Pending Home Sales, Petroleum Status Report Thursday: Jobless Claims, GDP Friday: Consumer Sentiment, Personal Income and Outlays
Commentary: 
As the Republican healthcare bill faltered in the house, US equity investors began to look at how the sausage was made, and nausea ensued. After low volatility in recent weeks, equity investors took on a negative attitude, with the S&P 500 and the DJIA having their largest daily declines thus far in 2017 last week.1 The S&P 500 is off more than 2% from its record high set on March 1st.2 On the week, the DJIA fell 1.52%, while the S&P contracted 1.42%.3 However, they are up 4.2% and 4.7% year to date, respectively.4 The US Treasury market did provide a respite for investors, with yields on the 10-year falling to 2.40%.5 The drop in equities was mirrored by notable declines in other asset classes. The US dollar fell to its lowest level in four months, and oil prices followed suit.6 The big question that investors are posing is whether or not the reforms and tax cuts that were promised by the Trump administration will be able to come to fruition. With dissension in the ranks of the Republican party, and little cross the aisle cooperation, the increases in corporate profitability that investors were expecting may be slow to materialize. Their lack of patience was witnessed in last week’s selloff which appears to be carrying through into this week’s trading. Political events have been major drivers of market action over the past year. Brexit, the US elections, US policy implications, and the upcoming French and German elections all sway the investor mindset. When we are dependent on political discourse, expect volatility. - 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:

Fortune Magazine

 

Global Perspective:

Bloomberg.com

 

Market Moving Data:

Bloomberg.com

 

Chart of the Week:

Haver Analytics / Census Bureau

Commentary:

1. The Economist
2.John Hancock Asset Management
3.Bloomberg
4.Bloomberg
5.Bloomberg
6.John Hancock Asset Management
 
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