Welcome to the Hancock and Whitney Bank Markets and Economic Update. The Investments team provides monthly updates as an informational resource for clients and individuals who are interested in hearing our perspectives on current economic issues.
What a great 2017…and we hope that 2018 is just as positive. We start the call with each contributor giving an overview of 2017, discussing the top headlines, and how the market performed.
As we move into 2018, we start with the question, “Is growth sustainable?” John Portwood gives his answer in relation to household disposable income, the savings rate, and consumer debt.
Geopolitical concerns may be the biggest pressing issue as we move into the new year. Austin Zaunbrecher discusses how potential geopolitical events would have a major impact on not only the US market but the world market as well.
Continuing the discussion of the biggest pressing issues of 2018, Richard Chauvin talks about tax reform and the maintenance of positive earnings growth. Tax reform may provide a boost to the likelihood of corporate America to produce a positive earnings growth for the next few years.
There is plenty to talk about in Washington these days. With the passage of major tax reform and an economy that is starting to gain traction, Washington turns its attention to more key legislation ahead of the upcoming mid-term congressional elections which are often unkind to the party in power. Jeff Tanguis talks about the potential election impact, gridlock and the resulting economic uncertainty.
Finally, I'll review asset class performance making note that most all major asset classes finished the year with positive results, and the following contributors will discuss their concerns and hopes for 2018:
- John discusses the stock market in 2018 and why investors should be cautious.
- Austin says why he thinks the market advance may continue focusing on monetary and fiscal policy, business confidence and the potential for a melt-up/increase in stock prices.
- Jeff gives us a quick review of the bond market in 2017, where the fed is going, and his outlook for 2018.
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