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We have now actual read those FOMC minutes that spooked markets on Wednesday despite the central bank striking a decidedly upbeat tone on the U.S. economy. The data cited was consistent with above-trend growth in economic activity, the labor market, and household and business spending.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased 1.0% in January to 108.1. The U.S. LEI continues to point to robust economic growth in the first half of 2018. The leading indicators reflect an economy with widespread strengths coming from financial conditions, manufacturing, residential construction, and labor markets.

European economic growth has been impressive in recent quarters but there is some evidence that their economy may be peaking. The latest Eurozone Composite PMI Index for February fell month over month. (LPL)

Stocks over bonds again? The bull market will turn nine next month, but another streak is taking place as stocks (measured by the S&P 500) have topped bonds (measured by the 10-year Treasury bond) for six consecutive years. Should it happen again in 2018, an all-time record will be reached. (LPL)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.

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