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Markets & Economy

The Economy: February 2017

THE ECONOMY: As of February 2017

Historically, the first February under a new President has been a poor one for stocks. Not so this year, as post-election momentum propelled markets to fresh highs. The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial, and NASDAQ were up 3.97%, 5.17%, and 3.91%, respectively, for the month. Emerging market equities have been a top performer so far, up 3.06% in February and 8.70% already on the year. Bond investments had a rough end to 2016, as quickly rising interest rates led to selling of fixed rate investments. These securities have rebounded through the first two months of 2017, though, with municipal bonds up 1.45%, and high yield bonds rising 2.93%. On the docket for March is a Federal Reserve meeting in which markets forecast a better than 50% chance of another rate increase.