U.S. stocks continued to rally in February following the strong gains in January. As corporate earnings reports rolled in throughout the month, they were not nearly as bad as many had predicted. While the U.S. economy does appear to be cooling off, there is no imminent risk of a of recession as many market watchers had warned late last year. The improving prospects for a trade deal with China and the Federal Reserve’s restrained stance towards raising rates also helped drive the gains in February. Going forward, we believe the Federal Reserve’s rate policy to be the most significant driver of markets and the economy.