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Markets & Economy

The Economy: January 2017

THE ECONOMY: As of January 2017

Stock markets started off on the right foot in 2017, with most major markets registering solid performance in January. The S&P 500 increased 1.90 percent, and strong technology stocks propelled the NASDAQ to a 4.35 percent gain. International markets were generally laggards in 2016, but that trend reversed this past month. The MSCI EAFE and MSCI Emerging Markets rose 2.90 percent and 5.47 percent, respectively. In fixed income markets, high yield bonds were the place to be, as they have returned 1.45 percent already this year. There were no changes to monetary policy after the most recent Federal Reserve meeting, so investors will sharpen their focus on potential governmental policy changes as the new administration settles in.