First Quarter Strategy Review
The first quarter of 2018 seemed to have something for everyone involved in the capital markets. It started with a positive market reaction for the S&P500 in January from the US tax reform plan announced late in the fourth quarter of 2017, which drove some of the largest earnings increases for 2018 ever recorded in any quarter. The outlook for forward earnings growth for 2018 was 12% at December 31st and now sits at a whopping 19%. We then experienced one of the more anticipated market corrections in February, which was triggered by the sharp rise in bond yields resulting from the strong employment and wage data for January. In March we heard from the new Fed Chairman Jerome Powell who, as expected, raised interest rates a quarter of a percentage point marking the sixth rate increase since December 2015.