The first quarter of 2017 saw a strong U.S. equity market and a more challenged fixed income market. The S&P 500 finished the quarter with an impressive 5.5% increase from where it started on January 1st. The market increase was driven by two major factors:
- Improving corporate profits
- The anticipation that the Trump Administration will be successful in lowering corporate taxes and reducing regulatory burdens on businesses
During the first quarter, there were a number of events that could have derailed the stock market ranging from the transition to a new U.S. President to political upheaval in South Korea and missile launches in North Korea, to the official start of Great Britain’s exit from the European Union. Yet, these were hardly speed bumps in a generally upward trend.