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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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December 18th, 2009

Treasury to Hold on to Citi

(Lee Siler) - Stocks took a big hit yesterday on a stronger dollar and Citigroup news. The demand for the Citigroup secondary offering was much less than the company thought. Citi was trying to get around $3.35 a share for the $20+ billion offering. The company ended up pricing the offering at $3.15. At this price the Treasury department decided not to sell our tax payers shares at this time. The Treasury said they would hold off for 90 days and after that would sell within the next 12 months.

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December 7th, 2009

Dollar Rallys

(Lee Siler) - For the week, stocks moved slightly higher despite the dollar showing some strength. Last week, we saw a paradigm change as the weak dollar trade subsided and was now trading in concert with stocks. It had been a long time since we've seen stocks and the dollar trade in the same direction. Well Friday's surprising employment data got the dollar moving. The fact that unemployment dropped to 10% from 10.2% was a huge surprise. Wall Street applauded the news. However, I'm not sure that this is the start of a trend. I still think unemployment is a major issue and will likely jump back up to over 10.2% over the next few months.

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November 20th, 2009

Dell Has a Rough Quarter

(Lee Siler) - Stocks continued their slide yesterday, as the dollar is starting to show some strength. This recent move in the dollar is likely an oversold bounce. Most experts do not see a significant dollar rally, especially since the Fed has stated that they will not raise rates for an extended period. Raising rates is the best tool the Fed has to prop up the dollar...

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November 16th, 2009

Lowes Sees Improvement

(Lee Siler) - Stocks look to build on last week's gains, as this week will be packed with economic data. This morning, retail sales came in a little better than expected. The Commerce Department reported that retail sales increased by 1.4% during the month of October. However, if you strip auto and auto parts sales, the number came in less than expected. Ex-auto's, economists had been expecting a jump by 0.4%, but actually came in about half of that number at 0.2%.

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November 11th, 2009

Dollar Hitting New Lows

(Lee Siler) - The market ended the day mixed on moderate trade. Considering the major averages rallied two of the three previous days, I would chalk yesterday up as a victory. It's been a while since the Dow Jones gained more than 200 points two of three days...

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November 6th, 2009

Unemployment Highest in 16 Years

(Lee Siler) - The nation's unemployment rate jumped to over 10% for the first time since October 1983. The consensus estimate was 9.9%, but the continued lay-offs being handed out by corporate America made the number jump to 10.2%. The news has sent stock futures plunging from earlier levels.

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November 4th, 2009

Buffet Takes a Ride on Burlington

(Lee Siler) - Stocks basically treaded water yesterday, as Wall Street awaits the Fed's comments at the conclusion of their meeting today.

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October 29th, 2009

Goldman Makes Wrong Call

(Lee Siler) - Stocks continued to trade lower on economic growth concerns and the stronger dollar. Obviously, the weaker dollar has benefited the large cap multinational companies with regards to earnings for this past quarter. When the dollar is weak, like it has been for quite some time now, companies that depend on exports for a large part of their business have a huge advantage. And we've seen it in this quarter's earnings reports. A large majority of the S&P 500, which are the 500 largest companies, have beat analysts' expectations. Keep in mind earnings are still down from a year ago, but that was expected.

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October 22nd, 2009

Stocks Drop Despite Earnings

(Lee Siler) - Stocks took a hit yesterday despite a slew of positive earnings news. It appears that the recent run up in stocks prices was in anticipation of a better than expected third quarter with regards to profits. It is ominous that the market can't seem to chug higher in the midst of terrific quarterly reports. With about 25% of the S&P 500 reporting earnings, approximately 79% of companies have beat analysts' expectations. That is itself is much better than average.

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