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MARKET-ALERT – Rumblings Up, Down, and Around Wall Street – Issue #429 dated April 30, 2017, with Ray Dirks of RAYDIRKS Research and his team of securities analysts and money managers, aided by the internationally-followed Web Sites – and, where Fashion meets Finance, and where Stocks meet Blonds.

Well, well, well. …’Twas another strong week on Wall Street as United States common stocks advanced sharply through Friday, April 28. The bullish sentiment prevailed despite negative concerns about negative international news from North Korea and Syria, in particular, as well as disappointing economic news from Wall Street in the U.S. and from Washington D.C. regarding President Trump’s initiatives.

Fortunately for Rumblings’ readers/investors, our Favorite Stocks for 2017 did fine, led by Aflac (AFL),whose common stock went up more than twice as much percentage-wise as did the major market averages, and Fusion, (FSNN), which went up more than 10 times as much percentage-wise, thanks to a very favorable research report from a well-regarded California-based stock-brokerage company.

Rumblings continues to think U.S. common stocks are under-valued as compared to government bonds, municipal tax-fee bonds, and corporate bonds; therefore, we suggest that readers/investors should do their due diligence, consult with their investment advisers, and then place 90% or more of their investment funds in common stocks, such as Aflac, Fusion, Apple, Inc., Hartford Financial Services, Hertz, Avis, Oramed Pharmaceutical, and Pluristem.

And now, let’s take a look at “The Trader” column in tomorrow’s Barron’s, the Dow-Jones Business and Financial Weekly, where the headline reads : “Profit Gains Lift Dow 1.9%; Nasdaq Up 2.3%”. The article starts off : “Taxes got the attention last week, but it was the alchemy of earnings and elections that spurred stocks to their best week in months.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 393 points, or 1.9%, to 20,940 last week, its best week since December 2016. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 1.5% to 2,384, the best week since January, while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 2.3% to 6,048, the first-ever close above 6,000.

The week got off to a rocking start, with the Dow leaping 216 points on Monday following the relatively benign results in the French presidential election – benign because only one radical anti-European candidate made it through to the second round. That, says Marketfield Asset Management CEO Michael Shaoul, allowed the market to capture gains that probably would have come earlier if it weren’t for the risk that something really bad would happen. “In a world without the French elections, we would be where we are today, just more smoothly,” Shaoul says.

But the good news didn’t stop there, as corporate earnings continued to shine. It wasn’t just that companies like McDonald’s {MCD} and Ingersoll Rand (IR) have been reporting better-than-expected profits, but that guidance is better as well. Bank of America Merrill Lynch strategist Dan Suzuki notes that for a second month in a row more companies have offered above-consensus guidance than disappointing forecasts; historically, the reverse has been true. And those optimistic forecasts since the start of first-quarter earnings season have allowed analysts to raise their full-year expectations, something that hasn’t happened this early in the year since 2012. “This is an incredible earnings season,” Suzuki says.

Still, it wasn’t that the week was without its downers. Donald Trumps’ tax plan lacked details, and failed to get the market moving, while first-quarter gross domestic product data was even worse than expected. The U.S. economy grew just 0.7%, below economic forecasts of 1%. In a note to clients, Strategas Research Partners’ Daniel Clifton called the sluggish growth “the U.S. economy’s warning shot to the Republicans,” who need to move past the infighting that scuttled health-care reform and pass their tax plan if they hope to get the economy growing at a rate faster than 2%. – and retain their majority in Congress. “If the squabbling continues, growth remains restrained, and, in a lower voter turnout midterm election, the Republican majority will be lost,” Clifton explains.

If Republicans can push something through, it will probably mean a further boost for corporate earnings, especially if the border-adjusted tax remains sidelined. That could ultimately make all the difference for a bull market that’s already long in the tooth. “If you’re buying the market here at the highs, you have to be confident that you get almost everything that’s been promised,” says Ian Winer, head of equities at Wedbush Securities.

Or at least almost everything.

Rumblings suggests that readers/investors allocate no more than 1% of the funds they devote to common stocks to the securities of any one company. It pays to diversify. …!

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