Stocks slumped during a shortened holiday week that brought its share of surprises. First President Trump unexpectedly agreed to a three-month extension of the debt ceiling and the federal budget, sending analysts scrambling to handicap what it might mean for policy going forward, tax reform in particular. While the impact remains to be seen, one thing we know is that for now it sets up another round of market anxiety in December when this deal expires. There is certainly a chance that the deal buys some time for Congress to get something positive accomplished in the meantime, but until now that has obviously proven difficult.
Minneapolis – (August 18, 2017) Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP) today announced it has been named one of the “Best Places to Work” by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal. Ameriprise is featured on the 2017 list in the large company category after receiving high marks from employees during a survey conducted by the publication. The firm has a strong reputation for attracting and retaining talented professionals by focusing on personal development, diversity, and a values-based culture.
Belligerent rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea commanded investor attention last week, pushing everything else to the side, at least temporarily. With earnings season, mostly complete, a light economic calendar, no central bank meetings and the U.S. Congress in recess, the heightened geopolitical tensions were enough of a concern to knock stocks off their stride and provide a lift to other, safe-haven assets.
The S&P 500 was unable to make it four straight weeks of higher prices last week, but the decline it suffered was fractional. So far in the month of July, the index is 2 percent higher. Unless Monday is a sharply down day, July is on track to be the best month for stocks since February, when the reflation trade was still alive. Most of that return has come from the technology sector, although it stumbled a little last week. Also helping has been the energy sector, which came to life in just the past week with a gain of 2 percent, as it tracked the price of oil higher. In fact, with one trading day to go, every sector has made a positive contribution in the month.