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Assuming his Senate confirmation doesn't hit any snags, Jerome Powell is set to become the 16th chairman of the Federal Reserve Board early next year. The change is significant because it's generally customary for a newly-elected President to re-appoint the sitting Fed chair for another term unless there is a valid reason for a change. The naming of Powell brings up speculation about both his background and any possible changes in policy that we might see under his leadership in the coming year.

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The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became a reality for Americans when President Donald Trump signed it into law on Dec. 22. This country has only had a federal income tax for just over a century since the 16th Amendment was passed in 1913 instituting the tax. Since then, the IRS form (including instructions) to file a personal annual tax return has gone from four pages in 1914 to 181 pages in 2016.

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With inflation being consistently underwhelming so far in 2017, there has been concern among economists and investors alike that our country's economic growth is stagnating. The good news is that there was a slight uptick in core consumer prices in October, which rose 1.8 percent year over year, up from the 1.7 percent rise in September.

In the wake of this minor jump in consumer prices, outgoing Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen predicted a rebound of U.S. inflation while hedging at the same time by admitting that she was "very uncertain" about her prediction. In fact, Yellen affirmed that low U.S. inflation over the past year has been "a mystery." While we wait for that mystery to play out, here is what we know about inflation, how it ...

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A robustly rising stock market has been one of the main features of 2017. Since the beginning of the year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), a generally accepted proxy for the U.S. stock market, has risen from 19,881.76 to 23,422.21, a nearly 18% gain. That’s a very strong bull market by historical standards.

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The bears remain in the background as we continue to experience the second-longest running bull market in history. The Dow Jones Industrial Average passed the 23,000 mark for the first time on Oct. 17 after reaching the 22,000 mark only in August. The Dow has passed through four major milestones in 2017 alone, which is a sign that the bulls remain fully in charge.

The S&P 500 has also been on a run over the past year. In fact, this diverse index has gone more than 242 trading days without experiencing a decline of at least 3 percent, which is a new record. On Oct. 27, both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed out at all-time highs after stronger-than-expected earnings from major tech players Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL), Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq...

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When you buy stocks, you have an ownership interest in a publicly-traded company. Not only are stocks key components to most individual retirement accounts but stocks are also the primary vehicle to raise capital for many businesses.

Stock prices and the stock market, in general, have an influence on such things as consumer spending and borrowing, business confidence, and other decisions, all of which impact the economy. The relationship can also work the other way, where economic conditions will influence the stock market.

When a stock's price rises or falls, it is an indicator of the value that investors place on that company and its future prospects. Likewise, the movement of the stock market as a whole is an excellent indicator of over...

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The last time the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised the benchmark rate was in June of this year. The Federal Funds Rate was upped to 1.25 percent and was unchanged after the most recent FOMC meeting in September. Here are the interesting results of the latest FOMC meeting as well as four reasons why the Fed is considering raising interest rates again in 2017.

What Happened at the Last FOMC Meeting?

The FOMC met in September and decided not to change the Federal Funds rate at that time. The sentiment among committee members was that another rate hike could occur this year as well as up to three increases in 2018. Instead of raising interest rates in September, the Fed used this latest meeting as an opportunity to begin a program ...

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