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Weekly Market Update
Week of March 28, 2011
The Markets:

Despite a plague of turbulent international events, the bulls managed to triumph over uncertainty last week.  U.S. stocks climbed for a third straight day Friday, erasing the past week's losses from Japan's nuclear crisis.[1]  In fact, all three measures ended two-week losing streaks as the S&P 500 added 2.7%, the Nasdaq climbed 2.8%, and the Dow rose 3.1% to its best week since July 9, 2010.[2]  


While several reasons could be cited for last week's performance, the primary piece of good news was that fourth quarter GDP outperformed previous estimates as businesses maintained spending and demand.  U.S. GDP increased at a 3.1% annualized rate, revised up from the 2.8% reported one month ago, and pleasantly surprised analysts.[3]


Investor's hopes have also boosted in anticipation of next Friday's jobs report from the Labor Department.  Payrolls increased by 195,000 workers this month, the most since May 2010 according to a preliminary survey by Bloomberg News.  Manufacturing grew at its fastest pace in seven years, while record exports and consumer spending are prompting many companies to boost hiring.[4]  In light of these positive reports, Libya, the series of events in Japan and new changes in the Eurozone - circumstances which previously shook investor's confidence - appear to have left markets unfazed last week. 

As we have seen in times past, it is impossible to pinpoint exactly when markets will persevere or turn bearish. Last week's reversal thus illustrates that the markets do not always behave rationally. 

ECONOMIC CALENDAR:                                        
Monday - Personal Income & Outlays, Pending Home Sales Index                        
Tuesday - S&P Case-Shiller HPI, Consumer Confidence                     
Wednesday - ADP Employment Report, EIA Petroleum Status Report
Thursday - Jobless Claims, Chicago PMI, Factory Orders                                                  Friday - Motor Vehicle Sales, Employment Situation, ISM Mfg Index, Construction Spending




Notes: All index returns exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5-year and 10-year returns are annualized.
Sources: Yahoo! Finance, MSCI Barra. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. NA means not available.


The U.S. Postal Service announced plans to shutter seven district offices (located in Columbus, South East Michigan, Northern Illinois, South East New England, South Georgia, Big Sky and Albuquerque) eliminating 7,500 jobs.  When fully implemented, the Postal Service estimates the cuts will lead to about $750 million in annual savings.  The agency also plans to close as many as 2,000 post offices over the next year and hopes to end Saturday delivery service.[5]


On the heels of Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates' resignation over austerity measures, an EU Summit was held last week to negotiate the details of the European Stability Mechanism.  In 2013, the ESM will have a lending capacity of 500 billion euros.  Standard & Poor's downgraded Portugal's long-term credit, bringing the country's credit standing closer to junk status.  A bailout may wait till June as the country needs to first figure out its political situation.[6] 


Japanese engineers struggled to pump radioactive water from a crippled nuclear power station after radiation levels soared in seawater near the plant. Prolonged efforts to prevent a meltdown at the 40-year-old plant have also intensified concern around the world about nuclear power. The crisis at the plant, 150 miles north of Tokyo, has overshadowed a big relief and recovery effort from the magnitude 9.0 quake and the huge tsunami it triggered on March 11 that left more than 27,100 people dead or missing in northeast Japan.[7]

Quote of the Week
"Trouble brings experience, and experience brings wisdom." - Anonymous
Recipe of the Week

Warm Apple Spice Crumble


From: Midwest Living
This 30-minute dessert casserole is super easy to make.
It uses canned apples in the filling and purchased granola as the topper.

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 15 mins
Total: 27 mins

1 20-ounce can sliced apples
1/4 cup golden raisins or mixed dried fruit bits
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon apple pie spice or ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1-1/2 cups low-fat granola
1/4 cup flaked coconut
Vanilla ice cream (optional)

1. Place undrained apples and raisins in a 2-quart square baking dish. Stir in vanilla. Sprinkle sugar and apple pie spice over apples. Top with butter pieces. Sprinkle granola and coconut evenly over apple mixture.
2. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or till apples are heated through and topping is golden. Serve warm with ice cream, if you like. Makes 4 servings.

Golf Tip of the Week

Write it Down

It's easier to improve if you can document your hits and misses. Where do you hit good shots, and where do you hit poor ones? Did you hit right, left, or on top? How many putts of less than five feet do you miss? Keep a journal and consult it periodically to unearth patterns and discover areas that need work.

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Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.


The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq. The DJIA was invented by Charles Dow back in 1896.


The MSCI EAFE Index was created by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) that serves as a benchmark of the performance in major international equity markets as represented by 21 major MSCI indexes from Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia.


The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.


Google Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.


Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.


Past performance does not guarantee future results.


You cannot invest directly in an index.


Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.


Fixed income investments are subject to various risks including changes in interest rates, credit quality, inflation risk, market valuations, prepayments, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.


These are the views of Platinum Advisor Marketing Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative or named Broker dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named representative nor the named Broker dealer gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your financial advisor for further information.


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Pat Webb
Pat Webb - Phase 2 Advisors
8100 Turman Ct
Fort Collins, CO 80525