To quote Frank Sinatra, "it was a very good year" for the stock market in 2017. Although indices fell a bit on Friday, gains for the year were still consistent and substantial, with the Dow rising 25%, the S&P 500 up almost 20% and the Nasdaq jumping 28%.
Alphabet (GOOGL - Get Report) , like the rest of the mega cap FANG stocks, had a strong run in 2017, rising 33%, and TheStreet's tech columnist Eric Jhonsa takes a look at what could be in store for the search giant in 2018, including an overhaul of YouTube, additional stock buybacks and the forging of a self-driving car deal with a major automaker.
After staging an impressive resurgence in 2017, Walmart (WMT - Get Report) could be set for an extremely healthy 2018 as its e-commerce initiatives and bold acquisitions and partnerships continue to pay off. The company was one of the top-performing stocks in the Dow in 2017 with a 43% gain, and at least one analyst thinks the retail giant could boost its dividend by 5% next year, courtesy of some of its new corporate tax savings.
Meanwhile, Goldman, Sachs (GS - Get Report) is among those firms that are taking a short-term hit from the new tax bill. The giant investment bank said on Friday that it's booking a $5 billion charge against its fourth-quarter earnings tied to the future repatriation of cash held overseas, as well as the impact of the new territorial tax system and the write down of deferred tax assets that will be worth less as corporate tax rates decline. But I wouldn't worry too much about Lloyd Blankfein and friends.
Bitcoin had a relatively restrained day, trading essentially flat at $14,388. But its extreme volatility leads RealMoney's Peter Tchir to caution that it only belongs in a highly speculative bucket of your portfolio -- that is, if you have one. While Tchir says that interest in Bitcoin is too big for investors to just ignore it, there are some very significant risks to investing in it, including whether it will ever achieve critical mass, how well it can scale and whether governments will try to crack down on its use.
Finally, it was another strong year for private equity as company valuations stayed high and competition for quality assets remained intense. The year's largest PE deal was the agreement by a Bain Capital-led consortium to buy Toshiba's (TOSBF) chip unit for almost $18 billion. The Deal's Armie Lee has the PE league tables for law firms, financial advisers and PR firms in 2017.
That's it for In Case You Missed It this year; stay warm and have a happy and safe New Year's. We'll see you again on the same ICYMI channel, same ICYMI time on Jan. 2!
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Photo of the day: Will the market's rally continue in 2018?
Despite slipping slightly on the final trading day of the year, the markets still enjoyed a remarkably smooth rise in 2017. Real Money's James "Rev Shark" Deporre notes that for the first time in history, the S&P 500 and other major indices managed to make gains every single month of the year. Can this consistent performance continue in 2018? It's not likely, says Deporre.
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