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Volatility in Washington Hasn't Translated into Volatility for Stocks

News out of Washington certainly has been turbulent, but that hasn’t translated into higher volatility for stocks. The VIX stock market volatility index remains near generational lows (left chart), while Strategas Research notes that it has been 38 days since the S&P 500 had an intraday move of 1% or more, the longest streak since 1982.

Indeed, it is easy to forget amid all the noise that corporate earnings are what ultimately matter for stocks (right chart). To that end, the current earnings season has been a good one, with roughly two-thirds of S&P 500 companies beating analyst estimates.

After earnings season, investors will turn their attention to President Trumps pledge to reveal a tax plan within the next few weeks. Tax reform will take time and the process could fail before it succeeds, but we do expect something to be accomplished by year-end. Success in this regard is critical for the market outlook, as stocks have risen by 10% since the election and trade at above-average valuations in anticipation of a large scale economic stimulus and reform package.

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This report is based on data obtained from sources we believe to be reliable. Hefren-Tillotson does not, nor any other party, guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report or make any warranties regarding results obtained from its usage. All opinions and estimates included in this report constitute the firms judgment as of the date of this report and are subject to change without notice. This report is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell the securities herein mentioned.

DISCLAIMER: Past performance does not predict future results. This report is based on data obtained from sources we believe to be reliable. Hefren-Tillotson does not, nor any other party, guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report or make any warranties regarding results obtained from its usage. All opinions and estimates included in this report constitute the firms judgment as of the date of this report and are subject to change without notice. This report is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell the securities herein mentioned.
Investment Advisory Team
Hefren-Tillotson

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Hefren-Tillotson Inc. is a leading diversified financial services firm providing investment and retirement plan management and comprehensive, financial planning through MASTERPLAN® for individuals and businesses. The firm’s wealth management services are administered by Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professionals, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charter holders, attorneys, Chartered Life Underwriters, and CPA/PFS’s. Hefren-Tillotson offers corporate services including 401(k) retirement planning, executive financial counseling, fiduciary reviews and workplace financial planning seminars. Founded in 1948, the firm is headquartered in Pittsburgh and has offices located in Pittsburgh, Butler, Greensburg, North Hills, and South Hills.