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Stifel CEO On AT&T/Time Warner Deal, Fed Meeting and Trump's Meeting With Kim

TheStreet sits down with long-time Stifel Financial Group CEO Ron Kruszewski to talk markets, AT&T/Time Warner and the upcoming Federal Reserve meeting.

The markets have a lot coming at them right now. 

But despite the onslaught of sometimes mixed news over the past month, investors continue to bid stocks higher. Clearly, there are reasons behind the vote of confidence. 

"I hear a sense of confidence, a sense to invest, a sense to compete and belief the economy is getting better," Stifel Financial (SF) - Get Stifel Financial Corp. Report chairman and CEO Ron Kruszewski exclusively told TheStreet (TST) - Get TheStreet, Inc. Report when asked what clients are telling him currently. Kruszewski is in the middle of hosting Stifel's 2018 Cross Sector Insight Conference, which brings together 300 company presenters and more than 2,000 institutional clients.

Suffice it to say, Kruszewski is plugged into what's happening on the ground.  

While Kruszewski didn't rule out a 5% or so pullback in markets this summer, he still sees equities finishing up for the year. Here are several quick takeaways from TheStreet's talk.  

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AT&T/Time Warner Deal Decision

The AT&T (T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report /Time Warner (TWX) decision came out favorably for the companies. And now it's time to make some deals. 

Says Kruszewski, "I think it's more of the question about if it doesn't get approved, are we sending some other regulatory message. I don't think the impact is as big as you would think for us [as a company]."

Trump/Kim Meeting

Interestingly, the market has ignored the rather upbeat nature of Trump's meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

"It's the start of a process, not the end of the process," Kruszewski explains. "I think the market knows that nothing dramatic is going to come out of this. The market is in a wait and see situation -- I don't think it's a big event for the market today."

The Big Fed Meeting

Here comes a potentially hawkish Fed decision on Wednesday. Is the market prepared? That has yet to be determined. 

"I believe we will have another rate increase tomorrow [Wednesday]," Kruszewski says. "Look, GDP growth is approaching 4% this quarter and next quarter and that's significant. I think the conundrum in the market is that with that growth and inflation ticking up, what's the 10-year doing at 2.8%? I think that's something the market is going to focus on."

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