Pat Webb - Phase 2 Advisors
Are You Tired of Hearing About Europe Yet?
Weekly Update - November 28, 2011
In This Issue
Golf Tip
Health Tip
Green Fact
It was another brutal week for stocks as fears related to Europe's debt situation dominated headlines. According to CNBC, the S&P 500 logged its worst Thanksgiving week since 1932. [1] Ouch! For the week, the S&P 500 fell 4.7%, giving back almost two-thirds of its October gains. [2]

Another factor that contributed to the poor performance is that trading volume was exceptionally light for the week as investors pulled away from their computers to enjoy some holiday relaxation. The day after Thanksgiving is typically one of the lightest volume days of the year, and true to form, only 3 billion shares (less than half the daily average) changed hands on major exchanges as the stock market closed early at 1 pm. [3]

Even though the U.S. economic picture keeps improving, investors continue looking to Europe for signals. And unfortunately, the signals coming out of Europe are a mixed bag at best. Despite hopes that new leadership can pull the region out of crisis, more countries continue to struggle. Hungary's credit rating was downgraded to junk status by Moody's last week. [4] Belgium, which has struggled to implement spending cuts after 18 months without a government, was downgraded on Friday to AA from AA+ by Standard & Poor's. [5] Italy paid a record 6.5% to borrow money over six months on Friday, and its longer-term funding costs soared far above levels seen as sustainable for public finances. High debt yields from major economies such as Spain, France, and Germany suggest investing in the region is perceived as being more risky. And last week's poor auction of German bonds raised concerns that the debt crisis is spreading to Europe's core. [6] This rash of negative news is really disturbing investors.

To quote Brian Lazorishak, portfolio manager at Chase Investment Counsel "This market is going to continue to be driven by what's happening in Europe. If things seem to be falling apart, nothing else will matter. If it looks like there's a way out - a light at the end of the tunnel in Europe - that could spark a decent rally from where we are now." [7]

Monday - New Home Sales
Tuesday - S&P Case Shiller, HPI, Consumer Confidence     
Wednesday - ADP Employment Report, Productivity and Costs, Chicago PMI, Pending Home Sales Index, EIA Petroleum Status Report, Beige Book
Thursday - Motor Vehicle Sales, Jobless Claims, ISM Manufacturing Index, Construction Spending
Friday - Monster Employment Index, Employment Situation Report



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. N/A means not available.


Black Friday sales increased 6.6% to the largest amount ever as U.S. consumers shrugged off 9 percent unemployment and went shopping. Consumers spent $11.4 billion, ShopperTrak said in a statement yesterday. Foot traffic rose 5.1% on Black Friday, according to the Chicago-based research firm. [8]

Did you skip the lines on Black Friday? There's still Cyber Monday -- and analysts are expecting an abundance of deals to bring in record online sales this year. Andrew Lipsman, an industry analyst at data tracking firm ComScore, said sales for the one-day shopping event are projected to hit a record $1.2 billion this year. [9]

Last week, Congress's special 12-member deficit-cutting committee failed to agree on measures to address U.S.'s fiscal woes. It marked the third year in a row that taxpayers headed into December with major tax-code issues unaddressed. Lawmakers have a lengthy to-do list. The 2% Social Security payroll-tax cut for employees expires at the end of 2011. So do a host of other provisions, including a fix to keep the alternative minimum tax from expanding to millions more taxpayers in 2012, and an extension of the popular IRA charitable contribution for people older than 70. [10]

Oil prices rose towards $108 on Thursday, helped by bigger-than-expected stock draws in the United States and tensions around Iran. [11]

Quote of the Week
"We can do anything we want if we stick to it long enough." - Helen Keller
Recipe of the Week

Gingered Lemon Broccoli Salad


3 tablespoons light mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 tablespoons plain soy yogurt
1/4 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
4 cups small broccoli and/or cauliflower florets
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons roasted soy nuts

In a large bowl, stir together mayonnaise, soy yogurt, lemon peel, lemon juice, and ginger. Add broccoli, red onion, and cranberries. Toss to coat. Cover and chill for 1 to 24 hours. Just before serving, sprinkle with soy nuts.

Golf Tip

Step for Power

To help fire your right side for longer, more powerful tee shots, step through with your right foot - immediately after impact - along the same path that your club head traveled on. This will activate your right hip and knee and help you square the club face and generate power. But make sure you practice this one on the range before you try it in play - it takes a little getting used to.

Healthy Lifestyle

Get Juiced

According to Purdue University researchers, citrus juice may be a far better partner for tea. Just a swallow or two can help you absorb a whopping 80 percent of tea's cancer-fighting antioxidants, explains study author Mario Ferruzzi, Ph.D., who notes that normally, we only absorb about 20 percent. "The antioxidants in citrus seem to safeguard the healthful agents in the tea, so they don't get demolished during digestion." [12]

Green Living

Switch to Cold Water

Almost 90 percent of the energy used to wash clothes is used to heat the water, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Save money and energy. Wash your clothes in warm or cold water, instead of hot, using a detergent formulated for cold-water use. [13]

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