The positive outlook for the markets in 2017 may be facing a shake-up. Jeffrey Kleintop of Schwab writes about the potential for negative market influences this year in the Eurozone. At this point, investors will need patience to see  Trump’s policy changes take effect.  Michael T. Townsend offers a forecast of what to expect. The Leading Economic Index remains one of the best gauges of economic performance, and January’s numbers are now available. Ataman Ozyildirim of The Conference Board summarizes the results. One number that will be rising this year is the cost of auto insurance. Bloomberg Businessweek looks into what’s causing the increase.

The Stock Market Sees Nothing To Worry About—That May Be About To Change–  Elections in the Netherlands, France, Germany and perhaps Italy are on 2017’s calendar with potentially negative outcomes for investors. Jeffrey Kleintop, Chief Global Investment Strategist at Charles Schwab & Co., explains. Read more…

Why Trump’s Policy Changes Could Take Time–  Although Trump’s initial days in office brought a flurry of executive orders and other headline-making pronouncements, it will likely be months before we see any progress on his signature campaign promises—namely replacing the Affordable Care Act, tax reform and an infrastructure spending package. Indeed, Congressional leaders—and even Trump himself—have been working to temper expectations about how quickly such changes might happen. Read more…

Leading Economic Index Increased Sharply In January–  “The U.S. Leading Economic Index increased sharply again in January, pointing to a positive economic outlook in the first half of this year,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. “The January gain was broad-based among the leading indicators. If this trend continues, the U.S. economy may even accelerate in the near term.” Read more…

Auto Insurance Bills Rise As Texters Crash Cars–  The pace of auto premium increases has hit a 13-year high, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s consumer price index. Allstate said in February there’s a “striking” correlation between the rise in smartphone use and crashes. Read more…

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John R. Day, Bill Ennis, Stephanie Davidson and Matt Heller

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