The major averages closed out the first quarter of the year posting solid results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) closed up 4.6%, the S&P 500 (chart) closed up 5.5%, the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) gained 2.1% and the technology focused Nasdaq (chart) finished out the first quarter of the year up an eye-popping 10%. It’s no surprise how well tech did in Q1 considering how much this sector sold off after Trump won the election.
Although stocks continue to outperform, there has been some uncertainty coming into backdrop. The GOP’s inability to pass Trumpcare was the first sign of the potential breakdown of the new administration’s policies. Investors are beginning to wonder whether or not there will be more divide amongst republicans and how that could affect the upcoming tax reform bill. If there are any snags there or if that reform does not pass, some market pundits believe a 10-20% correction could occur.
Here are my thoughts about that. I do agree that if the proposed Trump tax reform does not go through, there indeed could be an immediate market reaction to the downside. How much, who knows? The markets are seemingly priced to perfection and then some. So if corporate tax rates are not reduced as Trump and his administration has outlined, why wouldn’t stocks be affected? Of course we will not know until late summer how the administration’s new tax policy will look like in its final state or whether or not it will even pass.
That said, there is plenty of runway between now and then for stocks and this starts with first quarter earnings reporting season. April is the month in which companies begin to report their earnings results to their shareholders. Corporate profits appear to be growing along with the economy. This my friends is where investors should be valuing stocks. So much emphasis has been put on the new administration’s economic and tax reform policies that we need not to forget about what really matters and that is corporate profits. That is not to say that government polices including the Federal Reserve don’t matter, but at the end of the day and when all the votes are in, growth and profits to me is what truly matters when valuing and investing in stocks.
Good luck to all 🙂