Ditto a portion of the content of this paragraph one week ago as once stocks sold off once again this week. However, the volatility picked up as did the extent of the downturn. Blame it on Donald Trump, the contentious relationship between Republicans and Democrats or perhaps both of the above. Trump and most Republicans call it noise and partisan politics while Democrats call Trump’s relationship with the Russians prior to the election as well as his comments to former FBI Director James Comey, an impeachable offense. That said, after a nasty sell-off Wednesday, the market recaptured part of those losses Thursday and Friday leading us to once again conclude that the bull market appears intact until the bears can prove otherwise. According to FactSet, “for Q1 2017, the blended growth rate for the S&P 500 is 13.6%. If 13.5% is the actual growth rate for the quarter, it will mark the highest (year-over-year) earnings growth rate for the index since Q3 2011 (16.7%).” Although stocks look a bit stretched at these levels given the trials and tribulations of the Trump Administration, the earnings picture provides solid support not far below. It is difficult to envision a bear market with this earnings support. Furthermore, should President Trump make some headway on tax and/or healthcare reform, stocks could head higher. For now, we continue to be tilted toward the optimistic side. Stay diversified. There is no need to be a hero. Your portfolio must be measured against your long-term objectives. Do not be caught up in the day-to-day noise of the markets.