Pat Webb - Phase 2 Advisors
Economic News Boosts Stocks
Weekly Update - March 19, 2012
In This Issue
Golf Tip
Health Tip
Green Fact

Stocks closed flat on Friday, but all the major indices posted gains of more than 2% this week, their largest one-week advance this year. The week's gains were primarily driven by a string of positive U.S. economic reports and signs of life in the banking sector.


Following Tuesday's FOMC meeting, the Federal Reserve appears cautiously upbeat about the economy, though Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged that the recovery will be a slow one and announced plans to keep the federal funds rate between 0.00% and 0.25% through at least 2014. The Fed has held interest rates near zero since December 2008 in an attempt to spur economic growth through access to cheap credit. [1] By continuing to keep rates low, the Fed is indicating that they are taking a wait-and-see approach to the economic recovery. [2] 


Friday's mixed trading came as traders absorbed economic reports on inflation, industrial production, and consumer sentiment. Inflation rose by 0.4%, pushed higher by rising gas prices. According to the report, consumer prices (a measure of inflation) were up 2.9% from this time last year, which is only slightly higher than the Fed's 2% target. Part of the Fed's job is to keep inflation from getting out of hand; if the inflation rate rises too high, it's possible that the Fed will raise interest rates to push it back down.


Industrial production remained disappointingly flat in February after December and January gains, and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index[3] dropped one percentage point from February's high of 75.3, as the year's high gas prices squeeze household budgets. Unfortunately, we can probably expect higher gas prices as we head into the summer travel season, which will continue to put pressure on the economic recovery. While gas prices don't appear to be affecting retail sales yet, it is possible that consumers will start curbing spending if gas edges much over $4. This year's high gas prices are largely due to fears about a confrontation with Iran, so continued saber rattling could send prices higher. Of all the factors in play right now, gas prices are definitely a wild card, and one we're keeping a close eye on.   


Housing Market Index

Tuesday: Housing Starts, Redbook
Existing Home Sales, EIA Petroleum Status Report
Thursday: Jobless Claims, Leading Indicators
New Home Sales


03-19-12 Chart

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.



Gas prices rose for the eighth straight day Saturday to a national average of $3.835, which is only 7% lower than the record high of $4.11 seen in July 2008. Gas prices are up 17% this year and are likely headed higher as we move into the summer driving months.[4]


Jobless claims dropped for the week ending March 10. First-time claims for unemployment benefits dropped to 351,000 from the previous week's revised 365,000 claims, suggesting slow improvements in the labor market.[5]


Foreclosures fell 8% in February as lenders began working through a backlog of seized properties. However, the recent $25 billion settlement with the five largest lenders means that foreclosures will likely increase in coming months as lenders begin repossessing homes again.[6]


The government said last week that manufacturers added 31,000 jobs in February. And factories have added 227,000 new jobs over the past year. The number of hours worked by factory employees also rose 0.9 percent last month, according to Capital Economics.[7]


Quote of the Week

"The human mind is our fundamental resource." - John F. Kennedy

Recipe of the Week

Halibut With Citrusy Tomatoes and Capers

03-19-12 Recipe

Fresh halibut and tangy capers dominate this tasty recipe. If you can't get halibut, this recipe is still delicious with any flaky white fish. Recipe from Real Simple.


1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 pint grape tomatoes cut in half

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons capers

Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

4 6-ounce pieces skinless halibut fillet or some other firm-fleshed white fish



Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes, orange juice, parsley, capers, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and simmer until the tomatoes begin to break down, 4 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining teaspoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Season the fish with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with the tomatoes.


Golf Tip

The Perfect Swing

Do you feel like you're hitting too many slices and your swing is never quite right? It could be because you were taught to swing down the target line, which actually causes your arms to fly away from your body resulting in inconsistent contact. To correct this problem, the next time you are on the range, stop your arms at impact and allow your body rotation to bring the club back inside on your follow-through. Practicing this will help you master the proper club head path after impact.

Healthy Lifestyle

Get Juiced Up

Changing out your morning coffee or tea for citrus juice can have important health benefits. According to Purdue University researchers, just a small serving of citrus juice can help you absorb important cancer-fighting antioxidants. Typically, we can only absorb about 20% of the antioxidants in tea, but the antioxidants in citrus juice are better able to withstand digestion - upping the absorption to as much as 80%.

Green Living

Go for Green Computing

Save money (an average of $90 a year) and reduce greenhouse gases by shutting down your home computer every night. By shutting down when you don't expect to use it for a few hours or turning off the monitor between sessions, you are also reducing power usage. A laptop uses, on average, a quarter of the power required by a desktop computer. Laptops are found in a variety of price ranges and are more than adequate for most computer tasks.

Share the Wealth of Knowledge!   
Please share this market update with family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to our list, simply click on the "Forward email" link below. We love being introduced!

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 BLS Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) produces monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services. Survey responses are seasonally adjusted and weighted to produce a composite index.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers is a consumer confidence index based on at least 500 telephone interviews are conducted each month of a continental United States sample. It is normalized to have a value of 100 in December 1964.

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.


By clicking on these links, you will leave our server as they are located on another server. We have not independently verified the information available through this link. The link is provided to you as a matter of interest. Please click on the links below to leave and proceed to the selected site.








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