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Last Week: Review -- Barron's

29 Apr 2017 10:00 am

Bring on the Tax Cuts

President Donald Trump presented his proposals to cut the corporate tax rate to 15% from 35% and the top individual tax rate to 35% from 39.6%. In a brief memo, Trump also called for eliminating state and local tax deductions, the estate tax, and the alternative minimum tax, but increasing the standard individual deduction. Democrats criticized the plan as being overly generous to wealthy taxpayers.

Paltry Growth

U.S. economic growth slowed to 0.7% in the first quarter, the slowest reading in three years. Gross domestic product rose at less than half the economy's typical performance and was far below the 2.1% rate recorded in the fourth quarter.

A Sigh of Relief

Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen advanced to the final round of elections for French president. Markets breathed a sigh of relief as Macron, who wants to remain in the European Union, is the front-runner.

A First for the Nasdaq

The Nasdaq Composite Index broke 6000 to hit a record high of 6049, on surging technology shares. It took the tech-heavy index 17 years to go from 5000 to 6000. On the week, it finished 2.3% higher, to 6047.61. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.9%, to 20940.51, and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 1.5%, to 2384.20.

Rumbling Over North Korea

Fears of a U.S. confrontation over North Korea's development of nuclear weapons rose, as a U.S. nuclear submarine arrived at a South Korean port and the rogue state flexed its military muscle with an artillery exercise. China's Xi Jinping urged Trump to exercise restraint, but the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, said another ballistic missile test could lead to a U.S. military reaction.

Trading Places

Trump backed off a withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement after calls from the leaders of Mexico and Canada. But the administration imposed a 20% tariff on softwood lumber from Canada used to build homes.

Boost for Sanctuary Cities

A federal judge ruled that Trump's executive order threatening to stop funding cities that limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement is probably unconstitutional, and placed it under a nationwide preliminary injunction. The White House plans to appeal.

Passenger Gets a Win

United Airlines reached a settlement with David Dao, a Kentucky physician who was forcibly removed from a flight out of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Probe of Flynn Opened

The Pentagon opened a probe into whether former national security adviser Michael Flynn broke the law by taking payments linked to foreign governments without permission. The Defense Department is also investigating the former general.

On a Tear

Amazon.com and Google parent Alphabet reported bang-up earnings and sales, with the former hitting an all-time high. Amazon saw its eighth straight quarter of profit.

In Brief

-- Congress passed a bill to fund the government for one week.

He Said:

"There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely."

President Donald Trump in an interview with Reuters about the rogue state.

The Numbers

The market for condos in Manhattan softened in March, according to Corcoran:

21%: decline in average sales price for condos in March from the prior month

2%: March decline in condo price from the year-ago month

119: average days on the market for condos in March

31%: decline of days on market from the month of February

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 29, 2017 06:00 ET (10:00 GMT)

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