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All’s quiet in the stock markets – More good news

Make it 19 straight weeks of stronger US economic data. First, unemployment claims for the first week of February declined significantly – making a new recent low. Then there was a package of economic readings that suggested February payroll employment may increase by +175k.  Finally, a University of Michigan jobs survey for the first half of February surged to the highest reading since 1983’s strong recovery.

Not bad.

I try to stay away from making political statements unless they have some sort of economic relevance, but I think that the Republican primary season and debates between the candidates cause the bad economic news to be highlighted more than the good news.  I think that’s one of the reasons why people aren’t aware that there have been 19 straight weeks of improving economic news.

For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost -0.47% to 12,801, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) lost 0.17% to 1,343 and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.06% to 2,904. The Russell 2000 Index, which tracks the performance of small capitalization stocks, lost 2.14% to 813.

I’ve been reading about what amounts to a renaissance in U.S. manufacturing.  Investor’s Business Daily had a cover story this weekend titled “US manufacturing jobs, output, and profits up nicely.”

Also, I read a report that stated US vehicle exports in 2015 are expected to increase by almost 50% from 2010.  I guess American cars are becoming cool again – globally.

Finally, if you haven’t seen Clint Eastwood’s powerful advertisement for Chrysler, check it out on the internet.  I know there is some noise about it being political – whatever – that’s not what I want to draw your attention to.  What is important is that it reached the largest television audience ever…EVER.  And the message was about the rising optimism surrounding US manufacturing.  A record number of people don’t watch or seek out TV commercials on the internet that don’t inspire them or that they don’t believe.

The concerns of a third double-dip recession (note the word “concerns” since we have had two scares yet no double-dip) seems very, very small right now, further strengthening our position that investors that have a solid financial plan along with an investment strategy that corresponds to that plan are often spared the whipsaw of the market and the anxiety that goes along with it.

Generally, unless your need for short term liquidity has changed, it never makes sense to trade or invest around emotion – positive or negative.  People who do this run the risk of buying high and selling low – which is a no-no.

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Securities and Financial Planning offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is comprised of 30 stocks that are major factors in their industries, and widely held by individuals and institutional investors. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index (S&P 500) is an unmanaged capitalization weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries. The NASDAQ Composite Index measures all domestic and non-U.S. based common stocks listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market. The market value, the last sale price multiplied by total shares outstanding, is calculated throughout the trading day, and is related to the total value of the Index. The Russell 2000 Small Stock Index is an unmanaged index generally representative of the 2000 smallest companies in the Russell 3000 Index. The Russell 2000 is an unmanaged index generally comprised of companies with lower price-to-book ratios and lower forecasted growth values.

 

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David B. Armstrong, CFA

President & Co-Founder

Dave got into the industry when he discovered his passion for finance in his mid-20’s. He’s a combat veteran and served as an officer in the United States Marines Corps on both active duty and in the reserves, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. While serving on active duty, Dave was unable to spend money on deployments, so he became a self-taught investor. Along with a few bucks cash as a bouncer, his investing performance grew to be good....

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