February provided investors with mixed signals. Colder and snowier-than-usual weather adversely affected many economic reports, causing uncertainty over the health of the economy to linger. Several companies cited negative impact of weather on future earnings.
I’m not worried.
The Year So Far
U.S. stock prices appear to be looking past weather disruptions and have rebounded back to near record highs following a soft start to the year. We see underlying strength in most economic indicators including a continued recovery in the housing market. Absent a severe storm in March, we expect more clarity on the health of the overall U.S. economy in April, when March economic data are released, and we still expect growth as measured by GDP to reach 3% in 2014.
This opinion is based on many of the drags of 2013 fading, including U.S. tax increases and spending cuts and the European recession, and growth accelerating from additional hiring and capital spending by businesses.
We continue to expect a 10-15% gain for U.S. Stocks in 2014 as measured by the S&P 500 Index.
The S&P 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.
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Investment advice offered through
The Linkous Group, Ltd.
A Registered Investment Advisor
Securities offered though LPL Financial
Member FINRA and SIPC
The economic forecasts set forth in this letter may not develop as predicted.