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Caleb Lawrence – KPIG-KPYG Radio – Share the Wealth – January 25, 2017

The major averages surged higher in early trade with the Dow Jones Industrial Average breaking 20,000 for the first time ever on little real news.

Mortgage activity gained 4% last week as the Mortgage Bankers Association or MBA reports that its index saw a 6% increase in purchase apps while refi’s gained .2%. The 30-year contract rate for a conforming loan increased again hitting 4.35%.
The BLS or Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the December unemployment rate fell in 10-states, was stable in 39 while 1 state increased. New Hampshire had the lowest rate at just 2.6% while Alaska had the highest rate at 6.7%.

With the Trump administration getting underway it would seem that trade tariffs and likely a trade war are becoming increasingly certain as the days go by. Taking the form of an import tax that is of dubious legal standing based on WTO or World Trade Organization rules. The history of tariffs and protectionism isn’t pretty as no one wins trade wars.

The repeal of the ACA or Affordable Care Act also seems to be moving forward as well. The rough outline of its replacement to date, like its predecessor seems to do little if anything to control costs. With healthcare spending eating up nearly 20% of GDP or Gross Domestic Product our ability to compete on the global economic stage is already severely impaired by health care spending and will become ever more so as time goes by without effective cost control.

I fail to see how either of these polices will make America great again, but admittedly it is still in the very early going.

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