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There Was a Party on Wall Street Last Week

Share buy-backs and higher dividends from big financial institutions led the good news last week as all of the major U.S. equity market indexes finished up the week in solid fashion.  It doesn’t feel like three years since the market hit its low in March of 2009.  I wrote a column for U.S. News and World Report  last week that covered some of the data over the last three years.

For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) gained 2.40% to finish solidly over the 13,000 mark at 13,233, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) gained 2.43% to finish over the 1400 mark at 1,404, and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 2.24% to finish over the 3000 mark at 3055.  The Russell 2000 Index, which tracks the performance of small capitalization stocks, gained 1.61% to finish at 830.

The S&P 500 has finished each week as a winner in 11 of the past 12 weeks.  Additionally, the S&P 500 closed over 1400 for the first time since the middle of 2008.  In the interest of putting things into the context of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the S&P 500 has made what I’ll consider to be a spot in the “Sweet Sixteen” – meaning that it has only had three losing weeks in the past 16.  That’s pretty sweet.

Housing reports are going to be the big deal this week. Homebuilder sentiment, housing starts, building permits, new home sales and existing home sales for February will all be on the tape this week (“the tape” – that’s the cool way to say it’s going to be in the news…).  We suspect that the data will be good given the warmer than usual weather in the first two months of 2012.

Later this week, I will be speaking at the Barron’s Top Independent Advisor Conference.  This conference hosts the top independent advisors nationally* to a 2 day conference where everyone gets to hear from each other about the economy, the industry, investment strategies and other topics.  It’s an honor to attend and an even bigger honor to be asked to speak to this group.  I’m looking forward to it and to sharing some of the themes I hear about during the conference with everyone next week.

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*Top independent adviser distinction based on assets managed, revenue and quality of practice.

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.

David B. photo

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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Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Monument Capital Management, LLC [“MCM”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.   

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