The Inauguration went off without a hitch as Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Who would have thumk! During the ceremony stocks rose on heavier volume but then faded a bit before closing with a flurry as the Dow gained 94 at 19,827 on heavier trading volume. For the week the Dow posted a 0.4% loss.
While everyone is scratching their heads about policy risk in the days ahead, the gurus do seem to agree that interest rates will rise, job creation will continue and US GDP growth projections appear good. While current US market indicators are positive, areas of uncertainty include the healthcare sector and international markets such as Europe and China. Warren Buffet, in an interview, expressed support for Trump’s cabinet picks but also hinted that if they screw up then it comes back on the President. Stay tuned.
The industrial giant General Electric reported earnings and they were relatively healthy. Profits met expectations while revenues were lower than hoped for. GE saw strength in aviation, power generation, renewables and medical. The company saw weakness in energy services and transportation as railroads had fewer locomotives under the Chirstmas tree. GE has rebuilt itself into an industrial manufacturing giant with a digital focus and going forward CEO Jeff Immelt is optimistic about GE’s business prospects.
The US rig count continues to rise gaining another 29 rigs this past week and has now been up 11 out of the past 12 weeks. According to Baker Hughes, the current rig count is 551 up from 522 this time last year. WTI crude oil closed up 2% at $52.33 per barrel.
The Boy Scouts are having their first outing of the year. We are taking 28 kids to Lake Wenatchee for a snow camp. It should be fun as the forecast is for lots of snow and temps in the mid 20s to low 30s.