Market commentary, 4th Quarter 2017

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In the fourth quarter, markets continued to benefit from consistent global economic growth. U.S. stocks were up 6.64% as tax reform and strong corporate earnings bolstered equity prices. Emerging markets, up 7.44%, continued to rally on a weakening dollar and higher oil prices. The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate at the end of the quarter. Investors increased their holdings of stocks and bonds mutual funds and ETFs. For the quarter, stocks had a net inflow of $56 billion while bonds had a net inflow of $77 billion. Total employment increased by 611,000 jobs this quarter, and the unemployment rate fell from 4.2% to 4.1%. The price of oil rose from $52 to $60 a barrel through the quarter.

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