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September 5, 2017 - The Economy Picks Up Speed

| September 05, 2017
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Last week gave a number of things for both investors and non-investors to think - and worry - about. From North Korea's missiles to Hurricane Harvey's devastation to an unemployment uptick, the headlines were busy. Yet, despite these circumstances, U.S. stocks posted gains again this week - and the NASDAQ ended Friday with a new record high and 2017's best weekly performance.[1] Overall, the S&P 500 added 1.37%, the Dow was up 0.80%, the NASDAQ gained 2.71%, and the MSCI EAFE increased by 0.55%.[2]

So, what did we learn about the economy last week that helped contribute to these gains?

Big News: GDP Hits 2-Year High

On August 30, the Commerce Department released its second reading of Q2 Gross Domestic Product. After sluggish growth in the first quarter of 2017, consumer and business spending helped advance our economy in April through June.[3] In fact, the revised reading increased to a 3% annual growth rate, which beat expectations and represented the fastest growth since Q1 of 2015.[4]

As we predicted in last week's market update, larger core durable goods orders contributed to this positive GDP report.[5]

Solid Support: Manufacturing Index Jumps

The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index, which measures business expansion or contraction, reached a 6-year high in August. According to Economist Andrew Hunter, this growth spike could generate GDP growth as high as 4% in the third quarter. That pace would be far above the average during the current economic recovery and would mean the economy is growing more quickly than many people expected.[6]

Of course, we are still in Q3, and any number of details could affect economic growth. We have many important happenings on the horizon that the markets will be watching, including debt-ceiling decisions, tax-reform outcomes, and much more.[7] However, recent data indicates that both consumers and businesses are opening their wallets - and the economy is growing. After 9 years of economic recovery where growth has often been lackluster, this quickening pace is welcome news.[8]

Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on uncovering the best opportunities for your long-term goals. As more data and insight come in, we will keep you informed every step of the way.

ECONOMIC CALENDAR

Monday: U.S. Markets Closed for Labor Day
Tuesday: Factory Orders
Wednesday: ISM Non-Mfg Index
Thursday: Productivity and Costs, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index

Notes: All index returns (except S&P 500) exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5- year and 10-year returns are annualized. The total returns for the S&P 500 assume reinvestment of dividends on the last day of the month. This may account for differences between the index returns published on Morningstar.com and the index returns published elsewhere. International performance is represented by the MSCI EAFE Index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.


These are the views of Platinum Advisor Marketing Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative, Broker dealer or Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer or Investment Advisor gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information.


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Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.

International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.

The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.

The Nasdaq Composite is an index of the common stocks and similar securities listed on the NASDAQ stock market and is considered a broad indicator of the performance of stocks of technology companies and growth companies.

The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indices from Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are the leading measures of U.S. residential real estate prices, tracking changes in the value of residential real estate. The index is made up of measures of real estate prices in 20 cities and weighted to produce the index.

The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

You cannot invest directly in an index.

Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

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  1. https://www.cnbc.com
  2. http://performance.morningstar.com
    http://performance.morningstar.com
    http://performance.morningstar.com
    https://www.msci.com
  3. https://www.nytimes.com
  4. https://www.cnbc.com
  5. http://wsj-us.econoday.com
  6. https://www.cnbc.com
  7. https://www.zacks.com
  8. https://www.nytimes.com
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