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Lots of Good News Last Week

Last week was full of good news. The Consumer Price Index for 2011 was released and it showed that overall inflation rose 3.0% and the core inflation reading (minus food and energy) rose just 2.2%. Food and energy prices, which surged throughout most of 2011 cooled as we got into December. A sharp drop in jobless claims and some well received earnings reports also helped major equity indices continue their slow and steady climb for 2012. In fact, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) index broke through the 1300 level last week for the first time since early August of 2011.

For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) rose 2.40% to 12,720, the S&P 500 rose 2.04% to 1,315 and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 2.80% to 2,787. The Russell 2000 Index, which tracks the performance of small capitalization stocks, rose 2.67% to 785.

The S&P 500 is within 3-4% of last spring’s highs and is over 20% off the low set in October. Not bad for investors that did panic.

I’m at the 2012 5th annual InsideETF Conference in Hollywood, Florida for the next few days. The growth of this market segment has been extraordinary and I’ll be speaking on a panel tomorrow to a crowd which is expected to be in excess of 1000 people. In fact, CNBC will be broadcasting live from the conference for most of the day.

I look forward to sharing some thoughts from the conference in my next blog.

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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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