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U.S. stocks traded solidly higher yesterday, with the major benchmarks hitting all-time highs, buoyed by signs of a slowdown in the number of new cases of coronavirus emerging in Wuhan China.

 

The sea of red ink is continuing to swell in Washington, with the federal government already racking up a budget deficit that is averaging close to $100 billion a month in the current fiscal year.  Treasury Department data released Wednesday show the shortfall at $389.2 billion in the first four months of fiscal 2020. That’s a 25% gain over the same period in the previous year and already about 40% of the total deficit for fiscal 2019.  Over the past 12 months, the government has spent $1.06 trillion more than it has taken in. All the red ink has bought the total national debt to $23.3 trillion. 


80% of the S&P 500’s companies have reported fourth-quarter earnings results.  Among those, earnings have so far beaten consensus expectations by 5.2%, and 63% of companies have exceeded their bottom-line estimates.   That compares to 5.2% and 71% over the past three years.  Aggregate earnings per share are on pace to rise 3.5% for the fourth quarter. 


A few months after Disneyland opened their biggest expansion in its history, the Anaheim theme park raised ticket prices yesterday, pushing the cost of some one-day passes above $200 for the first time.  In a press release announcing the price changes a Disney spokeswoman said, “A visit to our parks is the best value in entertainment bar none.”

 

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, I’m Tyler Simones

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