Pat Webb - Phase 2 Advisors
Stocks, Fuel, and Politics
Weekly Update - March 5, 2012
In This Issue
Golf Tip
Health Tip
Green Fact
The Markets:

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have been up for eight of the last nine weeks, though mixed economic data caused a minor decline on Friday. The S&P gained 0.28% and the Nasdaq rose 0.44%, but the Dow lost 0.04% for the week. Stocks have been the strongest positive indicator in a slew of mixed information coming at us during the last few weeks. The five-month stock rally has been built on steadily improving economic news and strong underlying fundamentals, though some strategists are calling for a pullback since indexes are hitting new landmarks and the fourth-quarter reporting period is winding to a close.[1] 

Exerting some negative pressure on both stocks and the economy, gas prices continued their march higher this week, reaching a national average of $3.74, according to AAA.[2]  Gas prices have risen more than 8% this year, influenced by ongoing Middle East tensions and a stronger U.S. economy. However, on a positive note, crude oil prices dropped Friday for the first time in days, on news that the U.S. won't preemptively attack Iran and disrupt oil supplies. While sustained high gas prices are not something we want to see, economists continue to stress that $4 gas is not enough to derail the economic recovery.[4] Interestingly, higher gas prices haven't dampened American enthusiasm for cars. Automakers reported strong sales for February, especially among smaller cars as buyers try to offset increased fuel expenses. Although all makers have not reported February results, analysts expect strong sales of 1.1 million cars and trucks for the month.[4]

Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke had both encouragement and words of warning for the Senate Banking Committee this week. While expressing that the recovery is not over and that the Fed expects continued growth of 2.2% to 2.7% this year, he also urged politicians to act on key issues. Bernanke expressed that the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, payroll tax increases, and massive federal budget cuts - all coming at the same time in January 2013 - is a "fiscal cliff" that could threaten the economic recovery.[5]  We agree that these lingering political issues could have significant negative consequences if they are not addressed properly. We sincerely hope that the leaders of this nation will act for the common good, and that they will not allow political bickering to get in the way of our ongoing recovery.

Monday: Factory Orders, ISM Non-Mfg. Index
Wednesday: ADP Employment Report, Productivity and Costs, EIA Petroleum Status Report
Thursday: Jobless Claims
Friday: Employment Situation, International Trade



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.


Traders pushed up the price of Treasury debt after economic data from Europe brought back fears of a global economic slowdown. Demand for "safe haven" investments like Treasury bills often goes up on the back of poor economic news.[6]

The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index fell in February to 52.4 from 54.1, a decline well below expectations. All four of the component indexes also posted declines; however, ISM's survey chief believes that the declines are part of a generally positive trend of moderate growth.[7]

New orders for durable goods declined a surprising 4% in January. Orders for long-lasting goods like machinery, airplanes, furniture, and appliances dropped after a special business tax treatment expired. While the news could be a sign of weakening manufacturing activity, the durable goods report is notoriously volatile and it is likely one-time factors had a significant impact.[8]

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose in February, a significant improvement over January's performance, and is now close to February 2011 levels. Consumers are more confident about current economic conditions than they were in January, and despite rising gas prices, they are more optimistic about the economic recovery.[9]


Quote of the Week
"We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers."
-Woodrow Wilson
Recipe of the Week

Hoisin-Glazed Chicken with Cabbage Slaw


This low fat, Asian-inspired dish is perfect for a weeknight meal.
Recipe from

4 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons fish sauce (optional)
3 cups shredded green cabbage
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
3 scallions, halved and cut into 4-inch strips
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1)    Heat broiler to high. Rinse the cutlets, pat dry with paper towels, and pound to an even thinness. Place in a broiler pan.
2)    In a small bowl, whisk together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of the rice vinegar, and the fish sauce (if using).
3)    Transfer 2 tablespoons of the glaze to a large bowl and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon rice vinegar.
4)    Add the cabbage, bell peppers, scallions, and cilantro and toss. Cover and refrigerate.
5)    Pour about 1 tablespoon of the remaining glaze into a small bowl and set aside. Brush the chicken with the glaze that remains.
6)    Broil the chicken, brushing occasionally, until cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Spoon the reserved glaze over the top. Serve with the slaw.

Golf Tip
Can You Wiggle Your Toes?

With the proper setup, your weight should be distributed evenly on your feet. Many golfers have a tendency to stretch out towards the ball too much. This causes their weight to be too far forward. How can you tell if your weight distribution is proper? Easy! Just make sure you can wiggle your toes freely. 

Healthy Lifestyle
Boost Brain Function with Daily Exercise

Researchers at the University of South Carolina have found that regular treadmill sessions boost the production of mitochondria in brain cells. By increasing the mitochondria in brain cells, exercise improves brain function and efficiency. Researchers found that creating an excess of mitochondria could also create a buffer against age-related diseases like Alzheimer's. Just a 30-minute treadmill session each day is enough to start seeing results.

Green Living
Banish Shoes and Contaminates from Your Home

Many environmental contaminants are tracked into the home on the soles of shoes. To keep your house free from the pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminants on the bottom of shoes, consider becoming a shoe-free household. Many retailers sell clever and elegant shoe storage solutions for the entry area, helping keep your home clutter- and chemical-free

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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.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index is a composite economic index based on a telephone survey of American households; responses are collated and weighted to produce the complete index.

The ISM PMI manufacturing index is a composite index designed to be an indicator of the economic health of the manufacturing sector. The PMI index is based on five major indicators: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries and the employment environment, which are weighted to produce the index.
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Pat Webb
Pat Webb - Phase 2 Advisors
8100 Turman Ct
Fort Collins, CO 80525