Pat Webb - Phase 2 Advisors
 
Weekly Market Update
Week of May 2, 2011
The Markets:

Stocks finished sharply higher last week, leading major indexes to their best month so far this year.[1]  A strong earnings season coupled with increases in personal spending, personal income, and gradual improvement in the nation's job picture helped the Dow finish 4.3% higher for the month.[2]

 

Also last week, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke held his first-ever press conference to answer reporters' questions in a televised setting. A clear effort was made to reassure a skeptical public that the central bank is doing everything it can to control inflation and expand the recovery. "It is very hard to blame the American public for being impatient," the Fed Chairman told about 60 reporters at Wednesday's news conference. Citing high unemployment and rising gas prices, Bernanke acknowledged that, "Conditions are far from where we would like them to be."[3]


Commenting on the Fed's commitment to help curb excessive inflation, the Fed Chairman added, "If inflation persists or inflation expectations begin to move, then there is no substitution for action. We would have to respond... I think every central banker understands that keeping inflation low and stable is absolutely essential to a successful economy. And we will do what is necessary to ensure that that happens."[4]  At a time when food and gas prices are on the rise, these words were comforting for many Americans to hear. And while stating that the recovery has been merely "moderate", Bernanke also stressed the Fed's belief that it is "sustainable".


In spite of Mr. Bernanke's constructive tone, we must reasonably acknowledge that the economic picture is not entirely rosy. Government data released Thursday showed that U.S. GDP growth slowed in the first quarter to 1.8% from 3.1% in the previous quarter, reflecting a spike in gasoline, higher overall inflation, and continued weakness in the housing market.[5]


Much like a ship captain monitors his navigational instruments, we will continue to monitor both the policy makers and the economic indicators that help us navigate the vast sea of investment options. Commentaries like this are our way keeping you informed of the course we are charting.

ECONOMIC CALENDAR:
Tuesday - Redbook, New Home Sales
Wednesday - Durable Goods Orders
Thursday - GDP, Jobless Claims , Corporate Profits
Friday - Personal Income and Outlays, Consumer Sentiment


Performance


05_02_2011_graph

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.

Headlines:

The death toll from this week's storms rose to 343 Saturday, according to an NBC News count, making the tornado outbreak the second deadliest in U.S. history. Catastrophe risk modeling company EQECAT said that with initial reports of nearly 10,000 destroyed buildings, property insurance losses were expected to range from $2 to $5 Billion.[6]


President Barack Obama used his weekly address to the nation to reiterate his call on Congress to stop granting tax subsidies to oil and gas companies. Despite recent signs of economic recovery, families across the country are experiencing "real pain" from soaring gas prices, Obama said.[7] 

 

Prince William and Kate Middleton have been pronounced husband and wife

at Westminster Abbey in London. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they will now be known, made their vows in front of 1,900 guests and the eyes of the world.[8]


The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is preparing an investigation of Google Inc.'s

dominance of the Internet search industry by alerting high-tech companies to gather information for the probe, three people familiar with the matter said. The probe is examining whether Google discriminated against other services in search results and stopped websites from accepting rival ads.[9]


Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, a mastermind of the largest terrorist attack in American history, was killed Sunday in Pakistan in a military operation after the U.S. learned of his location.[10]



Quote of the Week
Happiness is not something you postpone for the future;
it is something you design for the present. - Jim Rohn
Recipe of the Week

Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Dip


05_02_2011_recipe

From: Betty Crocker
Roasted red peppers add color to a one-dish dip requiring 10 minutes of prep time.


Ingredients:
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained (6 to 7 ounces)
cup drained roasted red bell peppers (from 7-ounce jar)
1 package cream cheese, softened (3 ounces)
cup sour cream
cup chopped fresh parsley
Assorted crackers or veggie crisps

Directions:
1. In food processor, place artichoke hearts and bell peppers. Cover and process until coarsely chopped. Add cream cheese, sour cream and parsley. Cover and process just until blended.

2. Garnish dip with additional chopped fresh parsley if desired. Serve with crackers.

Golf Tip of the Week
What's In Your Bag?

 

What is the best set makeup for an average player? Assuming that you're going to adhere to the 14-club limit, you'll want to assemble a set with which you use all the clubs and have no distance gaps. To show how to pick the set that suits you best, here is an average list of clubs and yardages. These yardages may not apply to your game, but you should be able to apply the same principle.

 

Woods:

Driver - 200 yards

3-Wood - 190 yards

5-Wood -180 yards

7-Wood - 170 yards

9-Wood - 160 yards

11-Wood - 150 yards

13-Wood - 140 yards

15-Wood - 130 yards

Irons:

2-Iron - 190 yards

3-Iron - 180 yards

4-Iron - 170 yards

5-Iron - 160 yards

6-Iron - 150 yards

7-Iron - 140 yards

8-Iron - 130 yards

9-iron - 120 yards

P. W. - 110 yards

S. W. - 90 yards

 

The idea is to pick a set that gives you a consistent distance spread from club to club. If you do not hit your 3 and 4 irons well, then take them out of your bag and replace them with a 5 and 7 wood. This will at least close any distance gaps created because of the unused clubs. As you can see, there is an overlap between the woods and irons all the way from 130 to 190 yards. If you're not comfortable hitting a certain iron, simply replace it with the corresponding wood, and vice versa.


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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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[1]   http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/29/markets/markets_newyork/index.htm

[2]   http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/29/markets/markets_newyork/index.htm

[3]   http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1104/27/qmb.01.html

[4]   http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1104/27/qmb.01.html

[5]   http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/28/news/economy/1q_gdp_report/index.htm?iid=EL

[6]   http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42834400/ns/weather/

[7]   http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53977.html

[8]   http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/apr/29/royal-wedding-newlyweds-afternoon-celebration?intcmp=239

[9]   http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-29/google-said-to-be-subject-of-ftc-probe-into-web-search-industry-dominance.html

[10]  http://blogs.wsj.com/wsjam/2011/05/02/osama-bin-laden-is-dead/

 

Pat Webb
Pat Webb - Phase 2 Advisors
8100 Turman Ct
Fort Collins, CO 80525
970-776-3306
patwebb@phase2adv.com
http://www.phase2adv.com