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April 9th, 2012

Spotlight on REITs: Asset Investors Corp

(Money Manager) - Asset Investors Corp: This is a Real Estate Investment Trust that specializes in prefabricated homes and communities, as well as mobile homes and its communities. It was a fairly new company when it decided to merge with Commercial Assists INC in 2000.

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March 14th, 2011

Spotlight in REITs: Sunstone Hotel Investors INC

(Money Manager) - Sunstone Hotel Investors INC: This is a real estate investment company that invests and manages hotels around the country; This Company manages high end hotels such as The Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, Starwood and Fairmount. The main objective of this real estate investing trust is to buy and invest in hotels that are under an already recognized name and add them to their own portfolio.

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March 31st, 2010

The Markets

(Michael Schwartz) - The stock market seems to be climbing the proverbial "wall of worry." Despite potential road hazards such as sovereign debt issues, rising interest rates, a weak job market, and a stalled housing recovery, investors bid up stock prices last week to an 18-month high, according to MarketWatch. Of course, these things could eventually affect stock prices, but, for now, stocks are riding the momentum of improving earnings and some underlying stability in the economy.

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February 11th, 2010

The Markets

(Michael Schwartz) - Volatility in the financial markets has risen noticeably in the past few weeks as investors remain on edge about a multitude of issues. A mixed employment report for January, continued budget deficit issues in Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain, monetary tightening in China, and a growing sense that the worldwide economy might be running on government stimulus fumes instead of stable gas all contributed to worldwide jitters, according to the Associated Press. In the U.S., the S&P 500 index dropped for the fourth week in a row and it is now down 7.3% from its January 15 recovery high, according to data from Yahoo! Finance. Foreign stocks, commodities, and gold are also down for the year as shown in the chart below.

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December 10th, 2009

November Markets

(Michael Schwartz) - Could November go down in history as a major turning point in the U.S. economy? The shocking (in a positive way) unemployment report released last Friday by the Labor Department showed the economy lost only 11,000 jobs in November. The markets were bracing for a number well in excess of 100,000, according to CNBC. On top of that, revisions to the previous two months showed 159,000 fewer jobs were lost than initially reported. And, to complete the trifecta, the unemployment rate dropped to 10.0% in November, down from 10.2% in October. On the surface, this is extremely good news for the economy as it suggests the economy is healing nicely.

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November 30th, 2009

Dubai Rocks World Markets

(Lee Siler) - News that government owned Dubai World is in a financial crisis rocked stock markets worldwide. While our markets dropped more than 1.5% on a holiday shortened trading day, markets abroad took the bigger hit. After the dust settled, it appears that the U.S. has limited exposure in Dubai. However, the news is not as good in Europe. The talk is that the United Kingdom has the biggest exposure to this troubled state. Although Dubai World is owned by the country of Dubai, it is not guaranteed by the government. This should not be a surprise. All of the debt accumulated by Dubai World was accumulated with the understanding that it was not backed by the government. The good news is that the oil rich country and neighbor of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, said it would make sure the banks are solvent and lend some financial assistance.

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October 9th, 2009

Bernanke Speaks Dollar Listens

(Lee Siler) - Stocks futures are indicating a flat opening, on comments from Ben Bernake that is strengthening the dollar. The stronger dollar is causing commodity prices to drop as well in early trading.

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October 7th, 2009

Alcoa Get Things Started

(Lee Siler) - Investors look for earnings to try and make it three up days in a row. Today is the official start of earnings season, as Alcoa (AA) will report after the close. Alcoa traded modestly higher yesterday, as this Dow component performed better than the index.

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September 22nd, 2009

Fed Meets

(Lee Siler) - Today the Fed starts their two-day meeting. The speculation is that the Fed will likely leave the Fed Funds Rate near 0% for a while longer. Obviously, inflation will be watched and combated when it starts to rear its ugly head.

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September 17th, 2009

Jobless Recovery???

(Lee Siler) - Stocks rallied big yesterday, as Wall Street is still buzzing about Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments. The Fed chief announced that this recession is "likely" over. Recent economic data has suggested that the economy is stabilizing, but the question is how much growth we can expect in the short-term? The good news is at least the economy should not contract any further.

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