Frozen Tundra or Green Pastures

At home we are facing a frigid January and thinking how we are going to stay warm and cozy. Weather across much of the U.S. is treating folks to really nice wind chills from -45 below in Minnesota to a mere -10 below in Michigan. Doesn’t really charge you up to do a lot outside in this type of weather. We wake up wondering if our car is going to start and how long the Christmas lights are going to stay strung among the bushes. All this points to an attitude and perspective to not do anything strenuous and not mess with Mother Nature. Now, if you are one of those people who believe in New Year’s resolutions, all charged up to hit the tread mill running, you are on your own and good luck to you.

Tying this frozen landscape idea with the market setup is probably not a far stretch. After an unbelievable year we peek out of our layered parka and look for signs of life and green pastures. Green pastures should continue to some extent but it would be rather extreme to expect more of the same for the New Year without some surprises along the way. You have heard me say and write many times I truly hate, (sorry hate is too strong for the New Year) truly dislike the multitudes of prognostications and New Year forecasts that canvas business news as coverage is cluttered with these rather silly future forecasts.

Think about 2017 and all the smart folks forecasting gloom and doom about the Trump administration and similar effects on stocks. Hmmm, you get the point. The major lesson is we can’t really forecast to a large degree how the political environment and the economic environment will mesh together. What we do know is that the U.S. and global economy are currently on solid ground pumping out positive numbers without being throttled with dangerous inflation. We also know we have new tax legislation passed just before Christmas with likely stimulus for corporate America. And finally, we know earnings and cash flows for most of corporate America have been pretty good as we close out 2017.

The real question for me is how investors will treat valuation as we start the New Year? Will investors continue to buy and invest at valuation levels that are rather pricey? Sentiment will play a major part as we start the New Year. If U.S. executives lay out positive capital spending plans during upcoming earnings reports that convince investors that capital spent from tax savings will lead to better earnings and cash flows then the current environment will continue for a while. If executives provide more of a wait and see approach about tax benefits then this positive market environment might erode a bit until spending materializes. I plan to tread carefully until we see what the upcoming earnings season brings regarding green pastures. Will the green pastures come in April or trick us and delay its appearance until May or June? Guess I will have to pay close attention.

Wishing everyone a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Roger N. Steed

January 2, 2018

KRS Capital Management, LLC (“KRS Capital Management”) is a state registered investment adviser with its principal place of business in the state of Michigan. KRS Capital Management and its representatives are in compliance with current registration requirements. KRS Capital Management may only transact business in those states in which it is registered or qualified for an exemption or exclusion from registration.

KRS Capital Management's newsletter services are limited to the dissemination of general information that is financial and/or investment related to United States residents residing in states where providing such information is not prohibited by applicable law. Accordingly, the content in this newsletter should not be construed by any consumer and/or prospective client as KRS Capital Management's solicitation to effect or attempt to effect transactions in securities or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation via this medium. Furthermore, the information resulting from the use of data or other information in this newsletter should not be construed, in any manner whatsoever, as the receipt of, or a substitute for, personalized individual advice from KRS Capital Management.

A copy of KRS Capital Management's current written disclosure statement discussing KRS Capital Management's business operations, services, and fees is available from KRS Capital Management upon written request. KRS Capital Management does not make any representations as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party incorporated herein and takes no responsibility therefore. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.