Global markets have continued to notch impressive gains thus far in February with North American equities outperforming (S&P500 +3.6%, TSX: +3.2%, EuroStoxx50 +3.0%, Nikkei: +1.8%) while fixed income held steady following several months of rising yields. In our view, fundamentals remain constructive for risk asset classes to perform well in 2017. These tailwinds include strengthening economic growth momentum, declining volatility, rising inflation and bond yields, low recession probabilities, improving flow of funds into equities, recovery in earnings growth, etc. However, headline noise is likely to remain elevated on a number of fronts in the near-term in a busy calendar which includes President Trump’s address to a joint session of congress (Feb. 28) which should include an update on tax reform prospects, Secretaries Tillerson & Kelly meet with Mexican officials (Feb. 22-23), healthcare repeal & replace plan expected to be announced (week of Feb. 27th), UK PM May could trigger Article 50 to begin negotiations on the UK’s exit from the EU just ahead of or at the EU summit (Mar. 9-10), Netherlands’ national elections (Mar. 15), and the Fed’s policy meeting (Mar. 15).