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December 25, 2017

LANDMARK FEDERAL TAX CHANGES SLATED FOR 2018

Congress passed the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act last week, and President Trump signed the bill into law on Friday. The new legislation authorizes major changes to the Internal Revenue Code. On January 1, 2018, the corporate tax rate will be reduced to 21%, most pass-through businesses will be allowed to claim a 20% deduction on earnings, the estate tax exemption will double, the individual standard deduction will rise to $12,000, and personal exemptions will disappear. At the start of 2019, the health insurance requirement for individuals set by the Affordable Care Act is scheduled for repeal. Most of the reforms are slated to sunset at the end of 2025.1

HOME SALES STRENGTHEN

The National Association of Realtors reported a 5.6% rise in residential resales in November, complementing last month’s 17.5% gain in new home buying announced by the Census Bureau. In a separate report, the Bureau found housing starts up 3.3% for November, with building permits down 1.4%.2

CONSUMER SPENDING JUMPS 0.6% IN NOVEMBER

Beside this noteworthy gain, the Department of Commerce also documented a 0.3% rise in personal income last month. Turning to consumer sentiment, the University of Michigan’s final December index declined 0.9 points from its preliminary reading to 95.9. In further consumer-linked news, the Bureau of Economic Analysis issued its last estimate of Q3 GDP, reducing it 0.1% to 3.2%.2

SMALL GAINS ON WALL STREET

As last week’s performance of the S&P 500 demonstrated, tax reform was already priced into U.S. equities. The benchmark advanced but 0.28% across five days, settling Friday at 2,683.34. In quiet trading, the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.34% for the week while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.42%. The Nasdaq finished the week at 6,959.96; the Dow, at 24,754.06. Bitcoin took a 27% intraday dive Friday, falling to $11,833 before recovering to $14,241 by Wall Street’s closing bell.3,4

THIS WEEK: U.S. financial markets are closed on Christmas Day. Trading resumes Tuesday, which is also the release date for the October S&P/Case-Shiller home price index. Wednesday, the Conference Board’s latest consumer confidence snapshot arrives, along with the NAR’s November pending home sales index. A new initial jobless claims report surfaces Thursday. Friday, nothing major is scheduled.

% CHANGE

Y-T-D

1-YR CHG

5-YR AVG

10-YR AVG

DJIA

+25.26

+24.27

+17.53

+8.40

NASDAQ

+29.29

+27.77

+26.08

+15.85

S&P 500

+19.85

+18.68

+17.53

+8.08

REAL YIELD

12/22 RATE

1 YR AGO

5 YRS AGO

10 YRS AGO

10 YR TIPS

0.54%

0.60%

-0.71%

1.84%

Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov - 12/22/173,5,6,7 Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.

Sincerely,

The Advisors at Sound Financial Strategies Group

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This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world's largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.

Citations.

1 - cpapracticeadvisor.com/news/12388205/2018-tax-reform-law-new-tax-brackets-credits-and-deductions [12/22/17]

2 - investing.com/economic-calendar/ [12/22/17]

3 - markets.wsj.com/us [12/22/17]

4 - washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/12/22/bitcoin-tumbles-nearly-30-percent-in-volatile-trading/ [12/22/17]

5-bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F22%2F16&x=0&y=0 [12/22/17]

5-bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F22%2F16&x=0&y=0 [12/22/17]

5-bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F22%2F16&x=0&y=0 [12/22/17]

5-bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F21%2F12&x=0&y=0 [12/22/17]

5-bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F21%2F12&x=0&y=0 [12/22/17]

5-bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F21%2F12&x=0&y=0 [12/22/17]

5-bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=12%2F21%2F07&x=0&y=0 [12/22/17]

5-bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=12%2F21%2F07&x=0&y=0 [12/22/17]

5-bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=12%2F21%2F07&x=0&y=0 [12/22/17]

6 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [12/22/17]

7 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [12/22/17]


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