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In March, stocks faced another significant challenge. The Trump administration’s sudden plan to institute tariffs on imports sent a shudder through the bulls. All three major Wall Street benchmarks fell more than 2.5% during the month as investors around the world considered the prospect of trade wars involving American, Chinese, and European products. The Federal Reserve raised the target range for the federal funds rate by another quarter point; mortgage rates were little changed for the month, and existing home sales improved. In Europe, leaders agreed on how the Brexit would unfold. The value of bitcoin declined, while gasoline and oil futures rallied. All in all, it was an eventful and volatile month for the economy and the markets.1
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