Weekly Market Update

PRESIDENT TRUMP ADDRESSES CONGRESS FOR THE FIRST TIME. WILL HE KEEP PROMISES?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

On Tuesday night, President Trump addressed Congress for the first time in a joint session. Trump urged both parties to work together to find solutions to the nation's most pressing issues. As expected, on the docket were: healthcare, taxes, infrastructure, and military spending. Trump presented a general plan to reform healthcare by utilizing tax credits and creating tax-advantaged savings accounts and assured an easy transition. In his address, Trump's plan specified $1 trillion spending on infrastructure but did not specify plans regarding tax reform. On Wednesday, following his speech, U.S. markets rallied as the Dow soared to an unprecedented 21,000 and the S&P 500 increased to above 2,400 for the first time in history.

In Other News

  • According to Bloomberg, next week's negotiated municipal supply is expected to be approximately $7.4 billion, of which, approximately $393.1 million is attributable to higher education borrowers.
  • Per Bloomberg's World Interest Rate Probability, as of March 2^nd, there is a 90% chance of an interest rate hike at the March FOMC meeting.
  • On Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order with respect to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The order moves the initiative from the Department of Education to the Executive office of the President. HBCUs had requested the change of the Obama administration and the move comes subsequent to two days of meetings among the President and HBCUs.
  • The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation , committed to improving Georgia's quality of life, could potentially lose millions of dollars in donations going forward. The Foundation invests more than 85% of its assets in Coca-Cola stock, despite warnings from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy regarding the risk of doing so. Last week, Coca-Cola announced a decrease in profits and sales for the quarter and has underperformed over the past three years compared to the S&P 500.
  • Contributions to colleges and universities hit a record high of $41 billion in 2016, surpassing the prior record of $40.3 billion in 2015. The increase in charitable giving was mostly driven by foundation and corporate donations, while alumni and non-alumni donations were down slightly in 2016 compared to 2015.

Rating Agency Update

  • Moody's assigned A1 to University of Toledo's Series 2017 General Receipts Bonds. The outlook is stable.
  • Moody's assigned A1 to University of North Carolina at Asheville's Series 2017 Bonds. The outlook is stable.
  • Moody's assigned Aaa to Princeton University's Series 2017 Bonds. The outlook is stable.
  • Moody's assigned Aa3 to Colorado Mountain College's Series 2017 Bonds. The outlook is stable.
  • Moody's revised the outlook on Yeshiva University's rating from negative to stable. The B3 rating was affirmed.
  • S&P assigned A to University of Toledo's Series 2017A General Receipts Bonds. The outlook is stable.
  • S&P assigned A+ to Teacher's College-Columbia University's Series 2017 Bonds. The outlook is stable.
  • S&P revised the outlook on the University of Missouri System's rating from negative to stable. The AA+ rating was affirmed.