The “Heat Map”

Most of the time, the U.S. stock market looks to 3 factors (call them the “pillars” which support the stock market) to support its upward trend – let’s grade each of the pillars.

CONSUMER SPENDING: This grade is A- (very favorable).

THE FED AND ITS POLICIES: This factor is rated C- (Below average).

BUSINESS PROFITABILITY: This factor’s grade is B (above average). We are entering a period of what is supposed to be a good first-quarter earnings season, which begins in earnest this week. It’s a period in which earnings might have grown by a double-digit percentage, due to a big recovery in energy-sector profit growth. But much of the gain is already discounted by elevated stock prices.

OTHER CONCERNS: The “Heat Map” is indicating the U.S. stock market is in OK shape ASSUMING no international crisis. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of crisis, we rate these international risks collectively as a 3.  These risks deserve our ongoing attention.

The “Heat Map”

Most of the time, the U.S. stock market looks to 3 factors (call them the “pillars” which support the stock market) to support its upward trend – let’s grade each of the pillars.

CONSUMER SPENDING: This grade is A- (very favorable).

THE FED AND ITS POLICIES: This factor is rated C- (Below average).

BUSINESS PROFITABILITY: This factor’s grade is B (above average). See “Heads Up” section for more information.

OTHER CONCERNS: The “Heat Map” is indicating the U.S. stock market is in OK shape ASSUMING no international crisis. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of crisis, we rate these international risks collectively as a 3.  These risks deserve our ongoing attention.

The “Heat Map”

Most of the time, the U.S. stock market looks to 3 factors (call them the “pillars” which support the stock market) to support its upward trend – let’s grade each of the pillars.

CONSUMER SPENDING: This grade is A- (very favorable). Favorable activity in the housing market continues to support growth in the level of spending. This category’s grade will improve if and when the Trump legislation is passed.

THE FED AND ITS POLICIES: This factor is rated C-. The FED’s Open Market Committee met last week and raised raise rates .25% as expected.

BUSINESS PROFITABILITY: This factor’s grade is raised to a B (above average). Fourth-quarter earnings are on pace to grow by 8.4%, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, nearly double the 4.3% gain reported during the third. And analysts see earnings advancing at a double-digit clip during 2017’s first two quarters

OTHER CONCERNS: The “Heat Map” is indicating the U.S. stock market is in OK shape ASSUMING no international crisis. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of crisis, we rate these international risks collectively as a 3. These risks deserve our ongoing attention.

The “Heat Map”

Most of the time, the U.S. stock market looks to 3 factors (call them the “pillars” which support the stock market) to support its upward trend – let’s grade each of the pillars.

CONSUMER SPENDING: This grade is A- (very favorable). Favorable activity in the housing market continues to support growth in the level of spending. This category’s grade will improve if and when the Trump legislation is passed.

THE FED AND ITS POLICIES: This factor is rated C-. The FED’s Open Market Committee meets this week and Bond Market overwhelmingly expects the FED to raise rates .25%.

BUSINESS PROFITABILITY: This factor’s grade is raised to a B (above average). Fourth-quarter earnings are on pace to grow by 8.4%, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, nearly double the 4.3% gain reported during the third. And analysts see earnings advancing at a double-digit clip during 2017’s first two quarters. Now it’s earnings that are driving shares higher. “With earnings turning positive,” they said, “we have a solid catalyst for 2017 turning out to be a good year.”

OTHER CONCERNS: The “Heat Map” is indicating the U.S. stock market is in OK shape ASSUMING no international crisis. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of crisis, we rate these international risks collectively as a 3.  These risks deserve our ongoing attention.

The “Heat Map”

Most of the time, the U.S. stock market looks to 3 factors (call them the “pillars” which support the stock market) to support its upward trend – let’s grade each of the pillars.

CONSUMER SPENDING: This grade is A- (very favorable). Favorable activity in the housing market continues to support growth in the level of spending. This category’s grade will improve if and when the Trump legislation is passed.

THE FED AND ITS POLICIES: This factor is rated C-.  A slew of Federal Reserve governors spoke this week, all of them with the same message: The time has come for a rate hike. Janet Yellen, in a Friday speech, drove that message home, signaling the Fed would probably raise interest rates at its two-day meeting that ends on March 15. Some worry the Fed could risk undermining the recovery.

BUSINESS PROFITABILITY: This factor’s grade is raised to a B (above average). Fourth-quarter earnings are on pace to grow by 8.4%, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, nearly double the 4.3% gain reported during the third. And analysts see earnings advancing at a double-digit clip during 2017’s first two quarters. Now it’s earnings that are driving shares higher. “With earnings turning positive,” they said, “we have a solid catalyst for 2017 turning out to be a good year.”

OTHER CONCERNS: The “Heat Map” is indicating the U.S. stock market is in OK shape ASSUMING no international crisis. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of crisis, we rate these international risks collectively as a 3. These risks deserve our ongoing attention.

The “Heat Map”

Most of the time, the U.S. stock market looks to 3 factors (call them the “pillars” which support the stock market) to support its upward trend – let’s grade each of the pillars.

CONSUMER SPENDING: This grade is A- (very favorable). Favorable activity in the housing market continues to support growth in the level of spending. This category’s grade will improve if and when the Trump legislation is passed.

THE FED AND ITS POLICIES: This factor is rated C-. The FED has taken a wait and see attitude toward the economic impact of legislation the Trump Administrations has proposed. Some experts believe the FED could raise rates at a faster pace if and when the Trump proposed legislation is passed into law.

BUSINESS PROFITABILITY: This factor’s grade is raised to a B (above average). Fourth-quarter earnings are on pace to grow by 8.4%, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, nearly double the 4.3% gain reported during the third. And analysts see earnings advancing at a double-digit clip during 2017’s first two quarters. Now it’s earnings that are driving shares higher. “With earnings turning positive,” they said, “we have a solid catalyst for 2017 turning out to be a good year.”

OTHER CONCERNS: The “Heat Map” is indicating the U.S. stock market is in OK shape ASSUMING no international crisis. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of crisis, we rate these international risks collectively as a 3. These risks deserve our ongoing attention.

The “Heat Map”

Most of the time, the U.S. stock market looks to 3 factors (call them the “pillars” which support the stock market) to support its upward trend – let’s grade each of the pillars.

CONSUMER SPENDING: This grade is A- (very favorable). Favorable activity in the housing market continues to support growth in the level of spending. This category’s grade will improve if and when the Trump legislation is passed.

THE FED AND ITS POLICIES: This factor is rated C-.  Last week, the FED stated again it would take a wait and see attitude toward the economic impact of legislation the Trump Administrations has proposed. Some experts believe the FED could raise rates at a faster pace if and when the Trump proposed legislation is passed into law. The FED is in the process of turning from a friend to the stock market to an anchor weighing down profitability, reducing valuations, and constraining growth.

BUSINESS PROFITABILITY: This factor’s grade is rated a B- (above average). Trump’s goal is a 4% growth rate for the U.S. economy. This will increase business profits significantly. During the next 3 weeks, U.S. corporations will be releasing their 4th Quarter earnings and will be forecasting the year ahead.

OTHER CONCERNS:  The “Heat Map” is indicating the U.S. stock market is in OK shape ASSUMING no international crisis. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of crisis, we rate these international risks collectively as a 3. These risks deserve our ongoing attention.

The “Heat Map”

Most of the time, the U.S. stock market looks to 3 factors (call them the “pillars” which support the stock market) to support its upward trend – let’s grade each of the pillars.

CONSUMER SPENDING: This grade is A- (very favorable). Favorable activity in the housing market continues to support growth in the level of spending. This category’s grade will improve if and when the Trump legislation is passed.

THE FED AND ITS POLICIES: This factor is rated C-. The FED stated it would take a wait and see attitude toward the economic impact of legislation the Trump Administrations has proposed.  Some experts believe the FED could raise rates at a faster pace if and when the Trump proposed legislation is passed into law. The FED is in the process of turning from a friend to the stock market to an anchor weighing down profitability, reducing valuations, and constraining growth.

BUSINESS PROFITABILITY: This factor’s grade is rated a B- (above average). Trump’s goal is a 4% growth rate for the U.S. economy. This will increase business profits significantly. During the next 3 weeks, U.S. corporations will be releasing their 4th Quarter earnings and will be forecasting the year ahead.

OTHER CONCERNS: The “Heat Map” is indicating the U.S. stock market is in OK shape ASSUMING no international crisis. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of crisis, we rate these international risks collectively as a 3. These risks deserve our ongoing attention.

The “Heat Map”

Most of the time, the U.S. stock market looks to 3 factors (call them the “pillars” which support the stock market) to support its upward trend – let’s grade each of the pillars.

CONSUMER SPENDING: This grade is A- (very favorable). Favorable activity in the housing market continues to support growth in the level of spending. This category’s grade will improve if and when the Trump legislation is passed.

THE FED AND ITS POLICIES: This factor is rated C-. The FED stated it would take a wait and see attitude toward the economic impact of legislation the Trump Administrations has proposed. Some experts believe the FED could raise rates at a faster pace if and when the Trump proposed legislation is passed into law. The FED is in the process of turning from a friend to the stock market to an anchor weighing down profitability, reducing valuations, and constraining growth.

BUSINESS PROFITABILITY: This factor’s grade is rated a B- (above average).  Trump’s goal is a 4% growth rate for the U.S. economy. This will increase business profits significantly.

OTHER CONCERNS: The “Heat Map” is indicating the U.S. stock market is in OK shape ASSUMING no international crisis. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of crisis, we rate these international risks collectively as a 3. These risks deserve our ongoing attention.

The “Heat Map”

Most of the time, the U.S. stock market looks to 3 factors (call them the “pillars” which support the stock market) to support its upward trend – let’s grade each of the pillars.

CONSUMER SPENDING: This grade is A- (very favorable). Favorable activity in the housing market continues to support growth in the level of spending. This category’s grade will improve if and when the Trump legislation is passed.

THE FED AND ITS POLICIES: This factor is rated C-. The FED stated it would take a wait and see attitude toward the economic impact of legislation the Trump Administrations has proposed. Some experts believe the FED could raise rates at a faster pace if and when the Trump proposed legislation is passed into law. The FED is in the process of turning from a friend to the stock market to an anchor weighing down profitability, reducing valuations, and constraining growth.

BUSINESS PROFITABILITY: This factor’s grade is rated a B- (above average). Trump’s goal is a 4% growth rate for the U.S. economy. This will increase business profits significantly.

OTHER CONCERNS: The “Heat Map” is indicating the U.S. stock market is in OK shape ASSUMING no international crisis. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of crisis, we rate these international risks collectively as a 3. These risks deserve our ongoing attention.