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April 12th, 2010

The Markets

(Michael Schwartz) - The U.S. stock market continued grinding its way higher last week as the Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly pierced the 11,000 level for the first time since September 2008, according to The Wall Street Journal. Back then, the Dow was piercing 11,000 on its way down to below 7,000 in March 2009.

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February 24th, 2010

The Markets

(Michael Schwartz) - The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment preliminary index for February that was reported last week declined slightly from the late January number and it was lower than expected as consumers continued to fret over unemployment. The index is now down 24% from January 2007, according to data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve. Ironically, when consumers are glum, that could be good news for the financial markets.

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February 3rd, 2010

The Markets

(Michael Schwartz) - Let’s recap some of the good news last week: The Commerce Department said the economy grew in the fourth quarter at its fastest pace in more than six years; The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago said its index of Midwest business activity rose more than expected in January; Consumer sentiment in January as measured by The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers hit its highest level in two years; and Of the 220 companies in the S&P 500 index that have reported fourth quarter earnings, 78% of them exceeded analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters. In a typical quarter, only 61% of companies beat Wall Street targets. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? So, how does the stock market respond?

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August 25th, 2009

Obama Re-Nominates Bernanke

(Lee Siler) - Stock futures jump pre-market as President Obama re-nominates Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to a second four-year term. Of course, Bernanke's appointment will have to be confirmed by congress, which is a likely scenario. I think it would be disastrous to change the head of the Federal Reserve in the midst of and economic recovery as complicated as this one.

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May 18th, 2009

Economic Update for the Week of May 18, 2009

(Lee Siler) - The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index climbed to 67.9 for May; it hasn’t been this high since before the credit crunch. The index’s consumer expectations gauge was 69.0, up from 63.1 in April.

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