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February 8, 2017 |
Market Flash Report

Stocks got off to a decent start in 2017 on continued optimism that the new administration's fiscal policies will ultimately spur economic growth. January has been a tough month for the markets in recent years, and though stocks once again wavered near the end in face of political turmoil, the S&P 500 still managed to rise 1.9% for the month. It was the first January gain since 2013. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, meanwhile, breached the 20,000 mark mid-month for the first time ever. International markets did even better, with returns for U.S.-based investors benefiting from a decline in the dollar (which logged its worst month in nearly a year). The MSCI EAFE index of developed overseas markets rose 2.9% in January (in dollar terms). Emerging markets were the biggest winner, gaining 5.5%.