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January 18, 2013

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Deficit?

Current Market Analysis
Last Month's Results
Statistics to Watch
Trends To Watch
Fearless Forecasts
What I'm Thinking and Doing
Professional News and Notes

Current Market Analysis

As the market finished trading for the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 13,649, up 514 points, or 3.9%, from when I wrote to you last month, and up 8.4% in just the last two months. Even more importantly, the venerable index finally crested the October 5 closing high of 13,610 and did so on the same day that the Transportation average also reached a new high. This marked a bullish confirmation according to Dow Theory. This suggests, at least for a while, blue skies ahead for equity investors. Amazingly, the industrial average is only 515 points, or a mere 3.8%, from the all-time closing high of 14,164 set on October 9, 2007.

Last month I suggested that "should there be a timely resolution to [the fiscal cliff], the market could quickly soar to new highs." Well, that's exactly what happened. Now we face the even larger drama that will surround the negotiations over the debt ceiling and the extraordinary federal deficit. Should there be a reasonable resolution to this impasse, the market could easily surge to a new all-time high. On the other hand, if our elected leaders do their usual ineffectual song and dance, the market could quickly turn south.

Below you can see how the DJIA has attained the lofty levels last reached in late September and early October before the big swoon heading into the election. Last month I said "the chart appears mildly bullish with the price higher than both moving averages. Clearly a break above 13,330 is needed before the DJIA can attempt to surpass the October highs." Now that the DJIA has reached a new high, it must confirm the achievement by moving solidly higher. Note the increased volume that's accompanied the latest surge; that's very positive. My only caveat is that the market is due for a breather as the rally has gotten a little extended.

When looking at the chart below all you can say is "wow"!! The Dow Jones Transportation Average has really taken flight after bursting out above resistance. In fact, the Transports are now at a new all-time high. Last month I said that "it's unlikely the broader market can move to new highs if the DJTA doesn't break above this resistance level." Well, resistance was broken and the broad market has in fact moved to new highs. While the momentum is clearly to the upside, RSI and and MACD are clearly VERY over extended, so I would expect some profit-taking and a mild correction sometime soon.

In my November newsletter I suggested that it might be a good time to "buy" the Dow Jones Utility Average after a 13% sell off over the prior few months. Since then, the average has gained about 4.3%. While the two moving averages have not recovered from the "death cross", RSI is basically in stasis, as is MACD. While it's a negative that the 50-day moving average has crossed below the 200-day. I think there are more gains to come.

After trading between 1.4% and 1.9% for seven months, the yield on the 10-year has flirted recently with breaking through resistance and moving higher than Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve would prefer. Chairman Bernanke has pledged to keep rates artificially low at least through 2015, or until inflation rises above 2.5%. The current rate increase coincides with the rise in equities, as investors have taken money out of the safe haven of treasuries and moved it into riskier assets like stocks. It would be ironic if the very asset bubble created by the Fed helps drive interest rates higher than their target levels. Bond investors should prepare for for lean times ahead.

Last Month's Results

As always, I provide the following chart to show the raw results for the preceding month, the quarter-to-date and the year-to-date. Given all of the tumult that we lived with, and through, last year, it was a very good year for the broad market averages as stocks "climbed a wall of worry". Amazingly, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ composites both returned far better results than the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The outsized gains in the S&P and NASDAQ were helped by a 32.5% return in AAPL, which added an extra point to the gains in the S&P while the Dow was held back by stocks like Alcoa and Hewlett Packard. Still, as long as you stayed away from bonds, you fared well. I expect 2013 will bring more of the same.

Name of Index





S&P 500




Large-cap stocks

Dow Jones Industrial Average




Large-cap stocks

NASDAQ Composite




Large-cap tech stocks

Russell 1000 Growth




Large-cap growth stocks

Russell 1000 Value




Large-cap value stocks

Russell 2000 Growth




Small-cap growth stocks

Russell 2000 Value




Small-cap value stocks





Europe, Australia, Far East

Barclays Aggregate




US government bonds

Barclays High Yield




High-yield corporate bonds

* Return numbers include the reinvestment of dividends

Statistics To Watch

  • According to the Department of Labor, the figure for seasonally-adjusted initial jobless claims for the week ended January 12 was 335,000, a decrease of 37,000 from the prior week's revised figure. The four-week average of 359,250 381,500 is about 22,250 lower than the prior month's tally. About 3.2 million people continue to collect unemployment insurance, a number similar to the prior month.
  • Non-farm payroll employment in December continued to show modest improvement, but remained a mixed bag. The establishment survey reported that 155,000 jobs were added in the month while the household survey said that the unemployment rate remained steady at 7.8%. The jobs added this month were slightly higher than the average of 153,000 for the year, which coincidentally is the exact same number added on average in 2011. The unemployment rate is the lowest since January 2009.
  • Revisions to October and November added back a measly 16,000 jobs, after subtracting 49,000 in the prior two months. The total number of workers counted as unemployed rose by 200,000 to 12.2 million. This is probably a good thing as more people are entering the labor force and looking for a job. This may nudge the unemployment a bit higher in future months. The labor force participation rate remained at 63.6%. The more comprehensive U-6 "underemployment" rate also held at 14.4%.
  • 4.8 million people continued to be unemployed longer than 27 weeks. The seasonally adjusted number of people who could only find part-time work fell to 7.9 million and the number of marginally attached workers inched up to 2.6 million, which tied February for the highest level of the year. The number of people holding multiple jobs dipped to 7.1 million. The average hourly wages for blue collar workers rose slightly to $19.92 while the average work week inched up to 33.8 hours. Overall, this was a modestly good report, but much more is needed.
  • The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that on a net present value basis, the Treasury reported a federal budget deficit of $1 billion in December, and $273 billion for the first three months of the fiscal year, which is $29 billion less than the record figure reported for the same period of fiscal 2012. They claim that without shifts in the timing of certain payments each year, the deficit would have been about $60 billion lower this year. With numbers this large, that's basically a rounding error. Either way, without significant tax increases and spending reductions, we're likely headed for another year of deficits in excess of $1 trillion.
  • The Census Bureau reported that the U.S. trade deficit of goods and services was $48.7 billion in November, up considerably from $42.1 in October. This marks the largest trade gap since April, but was still below the high of $52.5 billion in January.
  • The Census Bureau reported that privately owned housing starts jumped 12.16% in December, following a small decline in November. Housing starts are now a whopping 36.9% higher than a year ago, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 954,000 units, the highest level since June 2008. New building permits were flat after a 3.6% the prior month, but were still 28.8% higher than the year before. The recovery in the housing market continues.
  • The National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargo Confidence Index held steady in January at 47, breaking the string of eight straight monthly increases, but holds at the highest level since May 2006. Builder confidence is slowly approaching a healthy figure of 50, which is considerable progress from the desultory figure of 19 a little over a year ago.
  • The Census Bureau reported that on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, 377,000 new homes were sold in November, about 4.4% higher than October and 15.3% better than a year ago. The estimate of number of homes for sale was 149,000, which represents a slim 4.7 months of inventory at the current rate of sales. The median sales price rose to $246,200, which remains above the rising 12-month moving average price of $237,883. The new home sale market remains very tight, which augurs well for future price increases as we move towards the spring selling season.
  • The National Association of Realtors reported that on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, sales of existing homes were 5.5% higher in November, to 4.44 million units, and remained 12.4% higher than a year ago. The estimate of 1.80 million homes for sale means there's only a meager 4.9 months supply on the market. The median sales price rose to $180,600, which is above the rising 12-month average of $174,408. As with new homes, the existing home market is getting tighter and tighter, which suggests a bright future in the spring.
  • The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price 10-city index, which uses a three-month moving average to track the value of home prices across the US, dropped slightly in October, breaking the streak of six straight months of price increases. Still, prices nationwide were up 3.4% over the past twelve months, and 4.3% in the larger 20-city index. I would expect the index to continue its upward climb in the months ahead.
  • The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) index of manufacturing activity was 50.7 in December, suggesting that economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded a bit in the month. The service sector shows no sign of slowing down. The ISM index of non-manufacturing activity was 56.1, which marked growth in the service sector for 36 consecutive months. This is where the low-paying job growth is in America.
  • The Conference Board reported that it's index of Leading Economic Indicators declined by 0.2% in November after an increase of 0.3% in October. Says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: "The U.S. LEI decreased slightly in November, bringing its six-month growth rate to zero, says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at The Conference Board: The LEI points to increasing risks of slowing economic activity in the near term, but the coincident economic index, measuring current conditions, continued to increase in November." Says Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board: "The indicators reflect an economy that remains weak in the face of strong domestic and international headwinds, as it faces a looming fiscal cliff. Growth will likely be slow through the early months of 2013."
  • According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the "third" estimate of GDP growth for Q3 2012 was raised to 3.1%, up from the "second" estimate of 2.7%, and far better than the 1.3% growth in Q2 and 2.0% in Q1. It is on par with the 3% recorded in Q4 2011. We should enjoy whatever growth we can show for last year as growth will likely be harder to come by in 2013 as the government fights over how to tax more and spend less in order to reduce the deficit. Both action, unfortunately, will diminish economic growth in the country.
  • The Federal Reserve reported in November that the amount of outstanding consumer credit was $2.77 trillion, up from the prior month and growing at a 7.2% annualized rate. A fourth consecutive month of growth in consumer credit should be helpful to retail sales, which, in turn, would boost the economy.
  • According to the Census Bureau, retail trade and food service sales increased 0.5% in November, and 4.7% year over year. Autos, health and personal and clothing led the way. This seems like a decent start to the holiday shopping season. We'll see next month how December did.
  • The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, which had decreased slightly in November, fell again in December, from 71.5 to 65.1. Says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: "Consumers' expectations retreated sharply in December resulting in a decline in the overall Index. The sudden turnaround in expectations was most likely caused by uncertainty surrounding the oncoming fiscal cliff. A similar decline in expectations was experienced in August of 2011 during the debt ceiling discussions. While consumers are quite negative about the short-term outlook, they are more upbeat than last month about current business and labor market conditions."
  • According to the FDIC, only 1 bank failed in December, which means that only 51 banks went under in 2012, versus 92 in 2011. That's a big improvement over the record 160 banks that were either closed or merged into healthier banks in 2010, and 140 in 2009. By comparison, only 26 failed in 2008 and a negligible 3 in 2007. I'd expect the total number of failures to drop by half again in 2013.

Trends To Watch

The dollar index traded in a relatively narrow range (between the blue and dotted red lines) last year. Look for the index to move lower until a resolution to the debt crisis is reached, after which there will likely be a bump. Longer term, the dollar will struggle with other global currencies in a fight to devalue. This global struggle will be a theme we'll revisit often throughout the coming year and one that presages a boon to the price of gold.

For more than a year and a half the price of gold has ping-ponged between $1,500 - $1,800/oz. During this period, the price has often found interim support or resistance around 1,685 (green dotted line). For the past two months, that has been a level of resistance. It appears once again that gold has breached this level and may be headed higher. Look for gold to once again threaten resistance at $1,800 sometime this year.

To put the move in gold into a little perspective, below you'll see a chart of the price of gold going back four years. You'll notice that from the beginning of 2009 through most of 2012 the price rose in an almost straight line. Yet there were four periods of consolidation (in orange) before the price moved inexorably higher. We have now been in an extended period of consolidation, lasting more than a year, during which a declining triangle pattern has formed (red lines). While this is normally a bearish trend I expect a powerful reversal to occur at some point this year, after which the price will move sharply higher.  

Last year the chart for silver looked just like the chart for gold. Silver traded in a clear range between $26 and $36 with an interim support/resistance line around $30. Notice the recent gains as RSI has moved up from an oversold level and MACD has gained strength. Now let's see if the current price can move north of the 50-day moving average, which would be very bullish.

According to the chart, the price of copper seems to be reasonable right now. The current price is higher than both moving averages and is in the upper half of the yearlong trading range. RSI and MACD show neither strength nor weakness, suggesting stasis. My guess is that Dr. Copper is awaiting more economic data, especially from China, before making a prognosis.

The chart of West Texas crude looks much better than a month ago as the price is $10 higher than when I wrote about 30 days ago. The price is back above interim resistance (green dotted line) and above both moving averages. In fact, if the 50-day moving average moves a bit higher, we could see the bullish "golden cross" signal. While I expected the price to move higher, I didn't think it would move so quickly. But as a long time oil bull, I'm not complaining.

After four failed attempts between September and December, the financial index managed to decisively pierce resistance around $16.30 and move to a new high. My stubbornly bearish stance on financial stocks has been proven wrong. I simply refused to believe what the chart was telling me. Clearly, there is a bull market here and it's time to admit that after being right for over three years, I've been wrong for the past year. The financials are a buy until proven otherwise.  

The chart of the housing market is a pretty one for the bulls as the index has tracked the rising blue line for over fourteen months. I finally saw the error of my ways and got on board in August. After a three month pause to close out the year, the index has again moved to new highs. I would expect another breather shortly before the rally continues even higher.

This is big. After failing multiple times to pierce interim resistance around 56, the index for the developed international markets has finally moved decisively higher. The next big resistance level is at 62. Investors who (rightly) bailed on this asset class, thanks to the unrelenting bad news emanating from Greece, Spain, France and Portugal, may not have noticed the turnaround last summer and have therefore missed out on this rally. This is another reason why most investors should not try to trade the market. It's much better to create your allocations and stick with them.

And what is happening here? Could this really be the rally we've been waiting for? Or is this simply another suckers rally? The Shanghai index had been a horror show for three years. Each time there's been a hint of recovery it's been quickly squashed. After getting perilously close to a three-year low, the index has surged almost 19% over the past month. Last month I suggested that, if indeed the market is finally washed out, "we could see a heck of a rally next year." We may be witnessing the beginning of that rally.

Now we come to our three contrarian market indicators. First is the NYSE Bullish sentiment index. This chart suggests that the market is very optimistic right now as bullish sentiment is almost 75%. RSI is highly overbought. If the index moves above 65, I'd expect the market to turn down. Usually, when bullish sentiment gets this high, we're likely to experience a correction.

Next we see that almost 90% of stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange are currently trading above their 50-day moving average. It doesn't get much higher than that. This also suggests that we're due for a correction.

Finally, we look at the VIX, or the "fear index". This chart shows the absence of fear, or utter complacency. So again, we're due for a bump in the road.  


Fearless Forecasts - Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Each year in the January newsletter I make a number of predictions about the stock market, the domestic economy and maybe a few key trends. At the same time, I use this opportunity to review the accuracy, or lack thereof, of my Fearless Forecasts from the prior year. So first, let's see how my prognostications from last year panned out. The forecasts are in black and what really happened is in red.

  1. I think the broad markets will be up in 2012. Put me down for a 10% gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which will finish the year around 13,440. As usual, it won't be a straight line to get there; there will likely be three or four corrections of at least 5% and up to as much as 15%. But investors who hold tight will be rewarded. I was pretty accurate here. The Dow was only up 7.3%, but the S&P was up 13.4%; the blended average of the two was 10.3%. The Dow finished the year at 13,104 and experienced two large declines, of 9.8% and 8.7%, respectively.

  2. Clearly the Fed will leave short term rates unchanged for the entire year; they've already declared as much. I also believe that there will be no new "quantitative easing" plans as the economy improves organically. I think the yield on the 10-year Treasury will stay in a range of 1.75% - 2.50% and the 30-year bond will hold at roughly 1.00% higher than the 10-year. Short rates will likely continue to hover around zero. Bingo! The Fed did, in fact, leave rates unchanged for the year. But they did begin another round of QE. The 10-year treasury traded right where I said it would, between 1.4% and 2.4% and the 30-year was almost exactly 1% higher. Short rates hovered around zero for the entire year.

  3. Forecasting the direction of the dollar is tough because as bad as things here have been, economies around the world are much worse. So much depends on what happens in the ECU and what happens domestically as our elected officials debate tax policy. Therefore I'm going to forecast, like last year, that the dollar index will trade in a relatively narrow range for most of the year at 75-85. I got this one right also. The dollar index traded in a slightly range than I anticipated - between 78-84.

  4. The price of West Texas Crude is no longer simply a factor of supply and demand. It also trades on the health of the global economy, sentiment and the relative value of the dollar. That being said, I think the price of WTIC will stay for much of the year between $90 - $110, with outer boundaries of $80 and $120, unless there is a strike on Iran, at which time oil prices could briefly spike to $150.I was pretty close here as WTIC traded between $77 - $110 per barrel, although the second half of the year saw it trade mostly between $85 and $95. There was no strike (yet) again Iran.

  5. The price of gold has moved higher in each of the last 11 years and I'm confident it will do so again this year. My upside target is about $2,000 per ounce while the downside is about $1,450. The primary trading range will probably be something like $1,600 - $1,850. I think the price of silver could test $50 per ounce again while it's downside is probably around $26. As predicted, the price of gold closed higher for the 12th straight year. The trading range was a bit more narrow than I predicted, between $1,525 - $1,800. I nailed the downside price of silver exactly at $26, but the upside fell short of $50, cresting only at $36.

  6. The housing market will continue to suffer in 2012. Average prices will remain depressed thanks to foreclosures and short sales. Even historically low rates won't move this market as only customers with pristine credit looking to buy conforming homes will be offered mortgages. The jumbo market remains effectively closed. This is the one prediction that I got wrong. It seems that the housing market bottomed out around the end of the first quarter then slowly but surely begin to strengthen as prices and sales volumes increased.

  7. I think the average rate of GDP growth over the next four quarters will be around 2.5%, which is better than 2011. I was very close here as the trailing four quarters of GDP growth averaged 2.25%

  8. Jobs will continue to be one the most important domestic stories of the year. The unemployment rate will likely top out around 8.7% to 10.2% before falling, at best, to around 9% by the end of the year. 9.5% might be the best we get. The U-6 measure for unemployment, a more accurate gauge of the true unemployment situation, will likely remain in the 16%-17% range. The job market was absolutely the top domestic story of the year, outside of the election. But fortunately, the unemployment rate wasn't nearly as bad as I predicted. It peaked at 8.5% and has fallen to 7.8%. The U-6 rate has fallen from 15.2% to 14.4%.

  9. I believe President Obama will defeat Mitt Romney in a relatively close election as a divided GOP is unable to coalesce behind Romney. The Tea Party is marginalized and the Senate remains in Republican control. Fiscal austerity, job creation and tax policy are the main debate points. The electorate forces Obama away from class warfare and back to the middle (ok, that's my wishful thinking). I correctly predicted President Obama's reelection. The Tea Party was marginalized a bit. And while the Democrats did pick up additional seats in both sides of Congress, the Republicans retained control of the House and while the Democrats strengthened their majority in the Senate. It's still to be determined how Obama will govern during his second term.

  10. There will be a military strike on Iran by some nation. There will be more unrest in Russia as the population rises against Putin. There will be more violent weather this year, continuing the carnage from 2011. Europe will continue to push their fiscal problems into the future, offering palliative band aid solutions rather than applying the tourniquet. And the Giants will surprise everyone and beat the Patriots again in the Super Bowl (ok, more wishful thinking). There were some military strikes against Iran by Israel. I was wrong, for now, about unrest in Russia where Putin still rules. The weather was, in fact, increasingly violent in 2012. Europe did kick the can down the road, a few times, to forestall their economic woes. And finally, as I predicted, the Giants defeated the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

All in all, my forecasts were remarkably accurate last year. And remember, I have no formal training in economics. I'm just someone who closely observes what is happening in the world and tries to apply that knowledge to my investment management business. Anyway, last year is history now; it's time to look forward, which means a new set of Fearless Forecasts. So without further ado, here we go:

  1. I think the broad markets will be only modestly higher in 2013. Put me down for an 8% gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which means a closing price of 14,156. That, coincidentally, would be six points below the all time high of 14,164.53 from October 9, 2007. I think the S&P 500 will lag the Dow this year, limiting the S&P to a gain of only 6%, which means a closing price of 1,508. As usual, the market will not rise in a straight line. Indeed, there will likely be two corrections of between 5 - 10%. But again, investors who hold tight will be rewarded.
  2. I'm confident the Fed will leave short term rates unchanged for the entire year; they've already declared as much. I also believe that there will be no more "quantitative easing" plans as the risks of inflation outweigh the concerns about deflation. I think the yield on the 10-year Treasury will stay in a range of 1.50% - 2.00% and the 30-year bond will remain roughly 1.00% higher than the 10-year.
  3. I think the value of the dollar will be lower by the end of the year, after finishing 2012 around 80. Countries all over the world are attempting to devalue their currency in order to bolster their exports and the U.S. is no exception. I expect the dollar index to trade between 73 - 83.
  4. I think slower global economic growth this year will limit demand for West Texas Crude, thereby keeping the price down a bit. That being said, I think the price of WTIC will stay for much of the year between $80 - $100, although it wouldn't surprise me to see it briefly drift as low as $70.
  5. The price of gold has moved higher in each of the last 12 years, even as the rate of growth slowed a bit last year, and I'm confident it will go higher again this year. My upside target is about $1,850 per ounce while the downside is about $1,600. The primary trading range will probably be something like $1,650 - $1,750. I think the price of silver could test $40 per ounce again, but will likely remain in a tight trading range between $26 - $36. I don't see silver going much lower than $25.
  6. The housing market will continue to rally in 2013. Average prices will slowly rise throughout the year as inventory remains very tight. Interest rates will remain historically low, although they will likely be higher by the end of the year.
  7. I think the average rate of GDP growth over the next four quarters will be around 2.0%, which is slightly lower than 2012. Q4 2012 may be the high water mark as the first half of 2013 could struggle to reach 1.75%.
  8. For the third year in a row, job growth, or the lack thereof, will continue to be one the most important domestic stories of the year. The unemployment rate will likely top out around 8.0% and will fall to only 7.5%. The U-6 measure for unemployment, a more accurate gauge of the true unemployment situation, will likely remain in the 14%-15% range. The other big story will of course be the federal deficit.

What I'm Thinking and Doing

As I suggested to you last month, the drama surrounding the negotiations to resolve the dreaded Fiscal Cliff was a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Indeed, the much-hyped agreement simply forestalled the larger issues, but gave President Obama and the Democrats the chance to declare victory in their quest to raise taxes on the wealthy while avoiding any harsh spending cuts. I'm afraid it was hollow, and short-lived, victory. All it did was set the stage for the bigger fight over the extension of the debt ceiling and the escalation of our national debt.

For the next few months we will likely be subject to a loud and angry breast-beating from both Democrats and Republicans, filled with proclamations of doom and gloom. They will take to the airwaves every day to assure you that if the other side has their way it will be the end of the world as we know it. I'm here to tell you that it just isn't true. There is a problem and it's very real. But it won't be solved today, tomorrow or next month. It will take decades and it will take sacrifice, and not just by the wealthy. Until the entire country agrees that there's a problem and until there's a national will to solve it, the problems will simply be pushed farther down the road. That is what will likely happen over the next few months. A few minor compromises will be made, allowing both parties to claim victory, but nothing substantive will likely be accomplished. And for now, that's probably good for the stock market, but bad for our future.

Last month I told you that I had a very busy December. I did a little tax-loss selling and a lot of portfolio rebalancing. I eliminated a few long-held positions and bought initial positions in three new companies: a leading chip manufacturer in the mobile phone space, a leading payroll company and a top medical device provider. While it's only been a month, I'm very pleased with those choices. So far this year I've begun to nibble at a new stock that lends money to companies and pays a large dividend to shareholders. Overall, my clients and I are fully invested and enjoying the rally in the market.

Professional News and Notes

Last year was a period of transition and change for me. This year my clients and I will reap the benefits of all the new hardware and software, and programs and processes, that I invested in last year to streamline and upgrade my business.

Last year, as many of you know, I started writing a blog. I've already written 29 articles on topics ranging from the debates, the election, the Fiscal Cliff, taxes, gold, the stock market and the broad economy, to name a few. I'm very excited to expand on that exciting beginning. More than ever I want to create a dialogue with my readers about what interests them and what they need to know in order to protect and increase their wealth by having a greater understanding about how different external factors affect their money. So please join me in this conversation and share your thoughts by clicking here.

I was hoping to introduce my new website this month but the work is a little behind schedule. I'm very pleased with the look and the content, but it requires a few more tweaks. I'm hoping it will be ready for release within the next month and I can't wait to show it to all of you.

Finally, the growth in my Twitter followers seems to have stalled shy of my interim goal of 500. So if you use twitter, please follow me as a way to remain abreast of all the daily news and action in the market. I'd love to hear some stories from my readers about how they use Twitter to improve their lives.

As always, I thank you, my readers, and remind you that this newsletter is for you. I have been writing News and Views for over nine years now. If you'd like to read any prior edition, simply go to my website and click on the link to my newsletter archives. I hope you have learned something about our economy and our stock market, and that you will continue to follow along with me in the future. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on how to make it better, please let me know. And if you'd like to speak with me about your investment needs, or if you know someone that might benefit from my guidance, I'd be pleased to be of service. Simply give me a call or drop me an email.

Best regards,

Greg Werlinich

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