SEVERE WX : Frost Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

It was an epic year for stocks

U.S. stocks closed lower on Friday, but Wall Street finished off one of its best years in a long time.The Dow ...

Posted: Dec 31, 2017 12:29 PM
Updated: Dec 31, 2017 12:29 PM

U.S. stocks closed lower on Friday, but Wall Street finished off one of its best years in a long time.

The Dow raced 25% higher in 2017, getting even closer to 25,000 and making this year its best since 2013.

The index breezed through milestones. It had taken the Dow 14 years to climb from 10,000 to 15,000, but just three and a half years to reach 20,000 in 2017.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also grew substantially this year. The broader S&P 500 zoomed 19%. And the Nasdaq jumped an impressive 28%.

The booming stock market is the result of resurgent economic growth and blockbuster corporate profits. The biggest catalyst was likely the sweeping tax cuts President Trump just signed into law, which over time will save corporate America billions on what they owe Uncle Sam.

Crucially, the tax law provides incentives that encourage companies to return foreign profits held overseas. Moody's estimates that mountain of offshore cash totals a record $1.4 trillion.

The hope is that companies will use some of that repatriated cash to create jobs with new spending on equipment and factories. However, Wall Street is anticipating a big chunk of the money will go towards share buybacks and paying down debt -- moves that should further juice stock prices.

Trump has repeatedly bragged about roaring stock prices. "70 Record Closes for the Dow so far this year!" Trump tweeted on December 18. He added, "Wow!"

The stellar year on Wall Street was unusual in that it lacked the type of sharp retreats that often accompany rallies. The S&P 500 hasn't suffered a meaningful pullback since prior to the election, and volatility metrics have plummeted to record lows.

At nearly nine years old, the bull market is now the second-oldest and second-strongest in history.

Many Americans view stocks as a barometer for the economy. Consumer confidence has soared to 17-year highs. It's also created more wealth for many households.

Yet millions of Americans can't feel the stock market boom -- because they have little to no money in the market. Just 18.7% of taxpayers own stocks directly. Roughly half of Americans participate in the market through an employee-sponsored retirement plan, according to a Pew analysis of Census Bureau data. That gap has contributed to record-high wealth inequality in America.

Those who missed out on the bull market may wonder if it's too late to get in now. Yet most market strategists are predicting more gains in 2018, especially as the impact of the tax overhaul are felt.

If the tax plan creates the kind of growth Trump has promised, the market could have a lot more room to run.

But Moody's recently estimated the tax law will only add 0.1 or 0.2 percentage points to 2018 GDP growth. JPMorgan anticipates a bigger boost of 0.6 percentage points.

The catch, according to JPMorgan Funds chief global strategist David Kelly, is that the "bump to growth in 2018 will likely be a one-year wonder."

--CNNMoney's Lydia DePillis contributed to this report.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 99134

Reported Deaths: 2089
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin27728936
Ramsey11209325
Dakota7724127
Anoka6343138
Stearns411925
Washington395055
Scott266333
Olmsted254428
Nobles197916
St. Louis174742
Blue Earth17437
Wright17137
Clay145741
Carver14517
Rice13518
Mower13486
Sherburne118514
Kandiyohi10573
Winona92318
Lyon7384
Waseca7228
Benton5683
Crow Wing56318
Steele5602
Nicollet55317
Freeborn5484
Watonwan5354
Chisago5221
Todd5142
McLeod5032
Le Sueur4804
Beltrami4735
Otter Tail4734
Martin46211
Goodhue3929
Douglas3622
Pine3610
Itasca35616
Polk3344
Isanti3241
Becker2862
Carlton2861
Morrison2802
Dodge2680
Pipestone23910
Chippewa2331
Cottonwood2290
Meeker2142
Wabasha2080
Sibley2033
Yellow Medicine2003
Brown1992
Cass1884
Rock1841
Redwood1805
Murray1762
Mille Lacs1723
Renville1638
Jackson1541
Unassigned15453
Faribault1490
Swift1451
Houston1350
Fillmore1340
Kanabec1318
Hubbard1261
Roseau1250
Koochiching1234
Pennington1201
Lincoln1180
Stevens1071
Pope1000
Aitkin881
Big Stone830
Wadena730
Lac qui Parle721
Wilkin713
Grant644
Lake610
Norman580
Marshall531
Mahnomen491
Red Lake451
Traverse360
Clearwater320
Lake of the Woods241
Kittson120
Cook70

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 88834

Reported Deaths: 1349
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk16204264
Woodbury568268
Johnson520327
Black Hawk455992
Linn4199115
Story350717
Dubuque347443
Scott312829
Dallas286038
Pottawattamie222539
Buena Vista202612
Marshall180235
Sioux17533
Wapello134557
Webster132714
Plymouth119121
Clinton115222
Muscatine113856
Crawford11176
Cerro Gordo107622
Warren9726
Jasper88334
Des Moines8249
Marion7799
Henry7774
Tama75732
Carroll7115
Lee6667
Wright6031
Dickinson5546
Boone5328
Bremer5137
Washington49311
Delaware4663
Louisa43915
Mahaska43520
Lyon3904
Jackson3683
Floyd3575
Franklin35318
Clay3504
Winneshiek3468
Benton3441
Hamilton3373
Poweshiek3278
Winnebago32514
Hardin3111
Buchanan2991
Jones2953
Kossuth2900
Butler2802
Emmet27910
Shelby2781
Sac2750
Chickasaw2741
Clayton2713
Guthrie27110
Clarke2703
Harrison2705
Cherokee2692
Allamakee2656
Cedar2561
Madison2452
Fayette2402
Grundy2294
Iowa2291
Palo Alto2140
Page2080
Hancock2032
Mills2031
Humboldt1963
Calhoun1953
Mitchell1950
Howard1937
Cass1812
Osceola1810
Pocahontas1682
Monona1671
Monroe16311
Lucas1596
Union1463
Appanoose1443
Taylor1431
Jefferson1411
Ida1352
Davis1304
Fremont1250
Van Buren1221
Keokuk1201
Worth1100
Greene1090
Montgomery1005
Audubon911
Wayne893
Adair761
Decatur670
Ringgold532
Adams380
Unassigned40
Rochester
Broken Clouds
53° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 53°
Mason City
Overcast
51° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 51°
Albert Lea
Broken Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 52°
Austin
Overcast
50° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 50°
Charles City
Broken Clouds
50° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 50°
Cooler and cloudier for Thursday, isolated rain chances
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Chamber Hosts Black Tie Affair For Annual Meeting

Image

Flats 55 Opens In Stewartville

Image

Halloween Decorations Vandalized

Image

New Fligth From RST

Image

Sean's Weather 10/1

Image

Protecting yourself from online hackers

Image

Bier, Mustafa face off for District Five

Image

Pigskin Preview 2020: Byron Bears Pt. 2

Image

Pigskin Preview 2020: Pine Island Panthers

Image

Former Minnesota AG Swanson responds to Trump's Duluth rally

Community Events