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Why Stocks Shrugged Off Iran Escalation

As the U.S. Government was reportedly sending additional troops to the Mideast, after killing a top Iranian leader, fear of Iran's asymmetric warfare tactics spread. The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index closed slightly lower than yesterday's 3,257.85 all-time high, ending on Friday, January 3, 2020, at 3,234.85.

Here's why: The U.S. economy is expected to grow 2% after inflation in 2020.

That's not roaring growth, but the Fed's projections as of December 11th, 2019 were realistic and make it likely that the 10½-year old expansion will continue despite the new foreign crisis.

Although a war with Iran would present serious new risks, not to mention ethical questions, the evidence shows that the U.S. consumer's behavior is not much affected by foreign conflicts.

The U.S.-China trade war did not prevent the stock market from rising nearly 30% in 2019. Brexit did not stop the bull market. The bull market kept right on going.

The U.S. is exceptional among world economies because the consumer population makes 75% of U.S. gross domestic product and they keep growing in wealth by objective standards — despite foreign crises, politics, and ephemeral distractions.

1 For each period, the median is the middle projection when the projections are arranged from lowest to highest. When the number of projections is even, the median is the average of the two middle projections.

3 The range for a variable in a given year includes all participants' projections, from lowest to highest, for that variable in that year.

This article was written by a veteran financial journalist based on data compiled and analyzed by independent economist, Fritz Meyer. While these are sources we believe to be reliable, the information is not intended to be used as financial or tax advice without consulting a professional about your personal situation. Tax laws are subject to change. Indices are unmanaged and not available for direct investment. Investments with higher return potential carry greater risk for loss. No one can predict the future of the stock market or any investment, and past performance is never a guarantee of your future results.

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This article was written by a professional financial journalist for Vantage Point Financial Services, LLC and is not intended as legal or investment advice.

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