Aug 29 2017 43219 1

Aug 29 2017 43219 1

DID YOU KNOW?...With 455 of the 505 companies in the S&P 500 reporting, Q2 earnings are up more than 11% over last year. One economist said the threat of recession is "as low, basically, as it ever gets.

BULLS BOUNCE BACK... After the market slid two weeks in a row, stocks last week surged back solidly, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all finishing with nice gains. Investors focused on the Fed's Jackson Hole Symposium, where Chair Janet Yellen said any changes to financial regulations should be modest, and didn't mention monetary policy. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi also spoke, pushing for open trade and output growth. These speeches gave Wall Streeters the impression rate hikes are a good way off. Also comforting, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reiterated the debt ceiling will be raised in time to keep the government functioning.

The positive investor mood has sparked strong market performance this year, with the three major indexes near record levels. Low interest rates have helped, as well as rising corporate earnings--see the 'DID YOU KNOW,' below. But, most important, the U.S. economy is improving, and about to deliver more growth. The Atlanta Fed's "GDP Now" model projects the economy expanding in Q3 at a 3.8% annual rate. The labor market is healthier, with an average 184,000 new jobs a month, the 4.3% unemployment rate is at a 16-year low, and economists think tighter employment conditions will lead tostronger wage growth. 

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