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December 4, 2017

Tax Reform 2017 has now completed 2 of the necessary 6 steps as legislation has passed both the House and the Senate, the latter being an early morning (2am ET) 51-49 vote last Saturday 12/02/17.  Step # 3 is a “conference committee” typically comprised of senior members from both parties from the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee that will draft “compromise” legislation that combines the House version of tax reform with the Senate’s edition.  Once step # 3 is completed, the revised bill goes back to the House (step # 4) and to the Senate (step # 5) for final passage.  If and only if all the above occurs, then President Trump would sign the final package (step # 6) and the bill becomes law (source: BTN Research).

The S&P 500 has gained +20.3% YTD (total return), double the index’s +10.2% annual average from the last half century (1967-2016).  Remarkably, the S&P 500 has gained at least +20% (total return) in 17 of the last 50 calendar years (34% of the time), including a stunning 5 years in-a-row from 1995-1999 (source: BTN Research).

The median sale price of existing homes sold nationally in October 2017 is 108% of the median sale price of existing homes sold nationally in June 2007, the latter date typically considered as the peak of the US real estate boom.  However sale prices in the Northeast have not completely bounced back after a decade.  The October 2017 median sale price in the Northeast is just 93% of its June 2007 median sale price (source: National Association of Realtors).

Notable Numbers

EMPLOYMENT SITUATION – Our country’s 147.0 million employees are split 85/15 between the private sector (i.e., non-government workers) and the public sector (i.e., government workers) (source: Department of Labor).

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS OUT– Congress must pass a fiscal year 2018 budget by midnight on Friday 12/08/17.  If Congress does not agree on a 2018 budget by that date and if they do not extend the “continuing funding resolution” that expires on 12/08/17, our 13th government shutdown since 1980 will occur (source: BTN Research).

SHRINKING – Detroit was the 5th largest city in the United States in 1950 with 1.9 million people.  Detroit is currently the 23rd largest city in the United States with 673,000 people (source: Census Bureau).

GROWING – Phoenix was the 99th largest city in the United States in 1950 with 107,000 people.  Phoenix is currently the 5th largest city in the United States with 1.6 million people (source: Census Bureau).

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