Dec 30, 2017

Stellar year for stocks; more highs forecast

A trader celebrates 2017 closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange yesterday. Photo: Bryan R. Smith / AFP / Getty Images

"The major stock indexes made double-digit gains for the year, led by Apple, Facebook and other technology stocks," per AP Business Writer Alex Veiga.

The takeaway: "By some measures, the market is looking expensive. The S&P 500 is now trading around 18 times forward earnings. That's above the historical average of 16."

  • "Even so, eight years into the bull market, many analysts expect stocks to keep climbing next year.
  • "The Standard & Poor's 500 index, the broadest measure of the stock market, had its best year since 2013," with a gain of 19%.
  • What it means: "[I]f you invested $1,000 in an S&P 500 index fund at the beginning of the year you'd wind up with about $1,218 at the end of the year."
  • The big reasons: "The global economy rebounded, while the U.S. economy and job market continued to strengthen, which helped drive strong corporate earnings growth.""Investors also drew encouragement from the Trump administration's and Republican-led Congress' push to slash corporate taxes, roll back regulations and enact other pro-business policies."
  • The Dow Jones industrial average gained 25.1%.. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite climbed 28.2%.
  • Indexes also closed up in Britain, Germany, France, Japan and Hong Kong.

Go deeper

Fed temporarily lifts Wells Fargo's growth restrictions

Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it will temporarily lift Wells Fargo’s growth restrictions, which were put in place following the bank’s customer abuse scandals.

Why it matters: The Fed’s only reason for lifting the cap is so Wells Fargo can dole out more loans to struggling small businesses as part of the government’s coronavirus aid package. Earlier this week, the bank said it could only lend a total of $10 billion, thanks to Fed restrictions that it can’t grow its assets beyond $1.95 trillion.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 1,450,343 — Total deaths: 83,568 — Total recoveries: 308,617Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 399,979 — Total deaths: 12,912 — Total recoveries: 22,539Map.
  3. Business updates: Roughly one-third of U.S. apartment renters didn't make April payments.
  4. Federal government latest: The U.S. has begun to see "glimmers of hope" despite its highest recorded number of deaths in 24 hours, Anthony Fauci said.
  5. Public health latest: Surgeon General Jerome Adams highlighted the disproportionate impact the illness is having on African-American communities.
  6. World latest: Indians look to Taiwan amid China's coronavirus missteps
  7. 🚌 Public transit: Systems across the country are experiencing ridership collapse, squeezed funding streams and slow recovery from the pandemic.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Bernie Sanders suspends presidential campaign

Photo: ANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders announced Wednesday that he is suspending his presidential campaign.

The big picture: It's an end to the campaign of the leading progressive in the race — and the candidate who seemed to be the clear front-runner for the Democratic nomination just a few months ago. It also makes Biden the presumptive Democratic nominee four months before the party's convention in Milwaukee.