The recent severe storms have been devastating for residents of two populous regions of the country (Houston and Florida), but the bulk of the economic damage should be localized while the long-term impact to the national economy is limited. The energy markets have also been impacted, with fuel prices rising nation-wide as refineries along the Gulf Coast have been disrupted. While investors have recently shown some skepticism towards pricey U.S. equities, international stocks are still in favor thanks to widespread global economic growth and a falling U.S. dollar. With inflation nowhere to be seen, many are questioning whether the Federal Reserve will hike rates again later this year. Futures markets suggest the probability of another 2017 increase is now less than 30%.
Market Flash Report - September 2017
The gains for U.S. stocks continue. The S&P 500 index has not had a losing month yet this year, despite recently experiencing small bouts of volatility amid tax reform delays and geopolitical events (North Korea, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma).