The Week Ahead

Posted December 31, 2017 7:59 p.m. EST

Trading Takes a 1-Day Rest

The question for financial markets in 2018 is whether they can continue to chalk up big gains. Most markets around the world will be closed Monday, as traders get an extra day of rest. Across much of the United States, 2018 will begin with a continuation of unusually cold temperatures, according to the National Weather Service.


Marijuana Becomes Legal in California

On Monday, recreational marijuana will become legal in California, the eighth state to legalize the drug. But because marijuana still does not have legal standing with the U.S. government, it can be difficult for marijuana startups to get funding from banks, or generally to conduct business as usual.


Release of Minutes of Fed’s December Meeting

The Federal Reserve was full of optimism at the end of 2017. The Fed raised its benchmark interest rate at its final meeting of the year and issued a revised economic forecast predicting faster growth in 2018, citing the effects of a major federal tax cut. The Fed also said it did not anticipate raising interest rates more quickly in response to faster growth. The question is why the Fed is willing to let the good times roll. The minutes of the December meeting, which the Fed is scheduled to release Wednesday, may provide some answers.


December Jobs Numbers Coming Out

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is likely to report another month of strong job gains Friday, when it releases December’s data. It is too early to notice the effect of the new tax law, but economists expect that the unemployment rate will hold steady at 4.1 percent.