Monthly Market Report - February 2017

25th January 2017

With commentary from David Stevenson

Despite the pervasive and corrosive cynicism about the style and manner of US President Elect Trump,  maybe we’ve all got him wrong. Maybe we should call him Santa Trump, if only because a weird combination of his recent election and the regular Santa effect has helped to turbo charge developed world stockmarkets. The FTSE has bashed through first 7000 and then 7200 and the S&P 500 now looks like it might be charging towards 2500.

But in truth there’s more to the bounce than just a feel good factor brought on by the festive break and the US election. There’s growing evidence that lots of "things” are picking up : earnings growth, inflation, employment numbers, and the inevitable debt levels.

If I were cynical I’d suggest that much of the recent bounce was simply due to one boring factor – that dividend payouts are likely to increase in 2017. Recent projections from data firm MarkIt remind us that the global dividend picture for the coming year is looking rosier than 12 months previously, "as the calming commodities markets means that energy and materials firms are set to resume dividend growth after slashing payments across the world. This positive trend is further improved by the rising dollar which underpins many commodities related dividend policies.”

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