GROWTH seems to be the word of the week with the International Monetary Fund forecasting positive global growth, two European counties pushing momentum forward for hybrid cars and Elon Musk announcing a potential new project – the “hyperloop.” Read on to get all the details in this week’s edition of Steady Investor’s Week:
Fed Decision – the Federal Reserve met this week, and to little surprise they held their line and did not raise the federal funds rate. Longer-term interest rates remained relatively stable on the news, though inflation pressures may start to wane further as another hike is likely due this year and the Fed signaled in its meeting that balance sheet reduction would start “relatively soon.” That is somewhat of a change of tone from comments made in June about balance sheet normalization, which they said would simply happen “this year.”
Global Growth Forecasts Remain Nicely Positive –though it is rarely wise to place too much faith in the International Monetary Fund’s growth forecasts, the institution generally tends to be within a decently close range of actual outcomes. Signs point to the positive. For 2017, the IMF kept its forecast for global growth at 3.5%, with the expectation of 2.1%. For 2018, growth is expected to remain steady with GDP coming in near 3.6%, with a slight boost in the U.S. to 2.5%. The IMF, perhaps correctly, tempered expectations for accelerating U.S. growth given the falling outlook for increased fiscal stimulus. The ongoing health care debate no doubt contributed to those reduced expectations. In the U.K., the impact of Brexit is expected to weigh on growth, but Europe as a whole and Japan are expected to balance out growth on the global scale. China is still expected to grow by 6.7% in 2017.
Electric Car Announcements – two European nations gave new meaning to the phrase “plug and play” this week, when both France and Britain made announcements about new rules banning all gas and diesel vehicle sales. France’s announcement came a day after the automaker Volvo said it would phase out the internal combustible engine, and both countries have made this pledge applicable to 2040. Meanwhile, the second largest automaker in the world, Toyota, said they are working on an electric car with an improved driving range and a fast-charging battery. The Japanese automaker wants to build an electric vehicle (EV) using solid-state batteries that can be recharged in minutes, with expectations for the new model to arrive as early as 2022. It appears the question is no longer if automakers are shifting to hybrids and EVs, but rather how soon. The race to electric should be fun to watch.
Is the Hyperloop Real? – Do you think it’s possible for a person to travel from Washington D.C. to New York City in 29 minutes? Bear in mind that by car the trip generally takes close to 4 hours, and by train you may be able to make it in just under 3. Well, Tesla and Space X mastermind, Elon Musk, thinks he can build a transport system that can make the seemingly impossible, possible. Just this week, he announced on Twitter that he had the government’s verbal approval to build an ultra high-speed tunnel that would carry his “hyperloop” between the two cities, using a complex system of air pressure and compression batteries within the tunnel to accomplish the feat. The two major cities downplayed his announcement as no permits have yet been sought. But stay tuned on this story.
Britain Starting to Cave? – it has been widely known that negotiations with the EU would be terse, but it appears that Britain may be taking a softer line at the table. It was announced this week that a key provision of EU membership – the free movement of EU citizens between EU countries – would be maintained for up to four years after Brexit as part of a transitional deal. The news comes after a meeting between Prime Minister Theresa May and British businesses, perhaps in response to many large banks announcing plans to relocate headquarters in Frankfurt as opposed to London. Business leaders have tended to advocate for a softer Brexit versus a hard Brexit.
As this week comes to a close, many news stories peak our interest from the push to hybrid cars to the Brexit’s momentum and Elon Musk’s’ “hyperloop,” but these stories still leave us with more unanswered questions than answered ones. With that, it can be very time-consuming for investors to keep up with shorter-term trends, news and events that could impact their investments. To help give you a leg up, we’ve laid them out for you in our newly released Zacks’ Stock Market Outlook report. This exclusive Report is a quick read but contains predictions that can help you assess your portfolio. Learn more by clicking on the link below: