The Miller Financial Group
Markets Higher Despite Mixed News
Weekly Update - January 28, 2013
In This Issue
Golf Tip
Health Tip
Green Fact
The Markets:

Investors enjoyed another positive week as major U.S. indices hit multi-year highs. The S&P 500 closed above the 1500 level for the first time since December 10, 2007, climbing 2.1%. The Dow rose 2.2%, and the Nasdaq gained 0.77%.[1] Despite a mixed earnings picture, consumer discretionary stocks saw general strength, and investors remained bullish.[2]  

In Washington, the House of Representatives punted on the debt ceiling debate, voting last week to raise the debt ceiling for four months without addressing important deficit issues. Instead, Congress will reevaluate the issue in May.[3] The vote is generally considered to be a concession by House Republicans, who were reluctant to force a showdown over the debt ceiling and potentially force the U.S. to default on debt obligations.[4]  Unfortunately for investors, this means that uncertainty over America's debt problems will continue. 

In more positive news, jobless claims fell for the second week in a row to the lowest level since January 2008. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell to a seasonally-adjusted level of 330,000, heavily beating economists' expectations. Though analysts caution that unemployment data is volatile this time of year due to seasonal fluctuations, we hope that it is a reflection of a positive trend for the economy.[5]  

Next week, traders will be paying close attention to a flood of economic reports to determine whether market fundamentals support further upside. The week starts off with the release of important housing and manufacturing data, which will hopefully indicate that the Fed's policies are taking effect. Later in the week, analysts will turn their attention to a raft of employment data to determine whether last week's positive results are part of an overall trend. 

As always, when markets reach new highs, we recommend patience and restrained exuberance. While short term market movements can be exciting, we are focused on protecting wealth for the long-term. Should you have any questions about your portfolio or about markets in general, please reach out to us. We are delighted to be at your service.

Monday: Durable Goods Orders, Pending Home Sales Index, Dallas Fed Mfg. Survey
Tuesday: S&P Case-Shiller HPI, Consumer Confidence Wednesday: ADP Employment Report, GDP, EIA Petroleum Status Report, FOMC Meeting Announcement
Thursday: Jobless Claims, Personal Income and Outlays, Employment Cost Index, Chicago PMI
Friday: Motor Vehicle Sales, Employment Situation, PMI Manufacturing Index, Consumer Sentiment, ISM Mfg. Index, Construction Spending


Notes: All index returns exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5-year and 10-year returns are annualized. Sources: Google Finance, 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.


U.S. manufacturing index at 10-month high. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), widely used to track the manufacturing sector, rose from 54 to 56.1, indicating a strong upward trend in manufacturing output. Analysts report that domestic demand is driving the growth, pointing to increased strength in the U.S. economy.[6]

New home sales cool off. The Commerce Department reported that December sales of new homes fell 7.3%, though new home sales still grew nearly 20% in 2012. Analysts say that the news is not cause for worry, as sales data for the three preceding months were revised higher.[7]  

Stamps rise to 46 cents.Beginning this week, the price of a first-class stamp will go up as the USPS struggles to deal with insolvency and budget issues. Postage rates on other items will increase as well.[8]  

China's industrial profits increase. Profits earned by Chinese industrial companies grew 17% in December from a year earlier. The report indicates that industrial production, one of China's most important sectors to its GDP, is recovering. China's GDP grew 7.9% in the fourth quarter, snapping a seven-quarter slowdown.[9] 

Quote of the Week
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is
dressed in overalls and looks like work."

- Thomas Edison
Recipe of the Week

Chili for a Crowd

This simple, hearty chili is perfect for a Super Bowl Party or other fun social occasion. Recipe from
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 bell peppers cut into
1/2-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 pounds ground beef
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/4 cup chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 12-ounce bottles lager beer
2 19-ounce cans kidney beans
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
Kosher salt and black pepper
Corn bread Toppings (such as sour cream, radishes, scallions, avocados, jalapenos, cilantro, Cheddar, and toasted pumpkin seeds)

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, and cumin and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the beer, beans, the tomatoes and their juices, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with the corn bread and toppings as desired.

Golf Tip

Find Your Tempo

Golf tempo refers to your overall swing speed; the total amount of time it takes to create your swing from beginning to end. Some players have a relatively fast tempo, while others have a slower tempo. A golfer's optimum tempo is often related to his or her personality, and yours should be too. Golfers get into trouble when they either slow down or speed up their natural tempo. Most often, the tendency is to speed up with the longer clubs to gain extra yards, especially with the driver. When your tempo starts varying from club to club, the timing required to hit consistent golf shots is destroyed.


For every club in the bag, the tempo, or time it takes to make the swing from start to finish, should be the same. For example, it should take the same amount of time to make a swing with your pitching wedge as it does with the 7-iron or the driver. What varies is the speed of the clubhead. Because the driver is longer than the pitching wedge, the club head moves faster throughout the swing, but if it takes two seconds to swing a pitching wedge, it should take the same two seconds to swing the driver. 

Healthy Lifestyle

Maintain, Don't Regain

Rapidly losing weight, and then regaining it (yo-yo dieting), can be hazardous to your health. Research shows that weight rebounds can increase your risk of cardiovascular problems and diabetes. Instead of focusing on rapid weight loss, work on gradually increasing activity levels and changing your overall eating habits.

Green Living

Protect Your Air Quality

Many old vacuum cleaners disperse small particles of dust into your air, lowering your indoor air quality. Look for vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters (high-efficiency filters that catch dust particle) and sensors that alert you when the filter needs to be cleaned.

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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. 

Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets 

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 Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) is a weighted average of five major indicators: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries and the employment environment. Each indicator is weighted and seasonally adjusted to produce the PMI. 

The Housing Market Index (HMI) is a weighted average of separate diffusion indices based on a monthly survey of NAHB members designed to take the pulse of the single-family housing market. Each resulting index is then seasonally adjusted and weighted to produce the HMI. 

The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator of housing activity, measures housing contract activity, and is based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos and co-ops. The PHSI looks at the monthly relationship between existing-home sale contracts and transaction closings over the last four years. The results are weighted to produce the index. 

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Market Volatility Index (VIX) is a weighted measure of the implied S&P 500 volatility. VIX is quoted in percentage points and translates, roughly, to the expected movement in the S&P 500 index over the upcoming 30-day period, which is then annualized. 

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 Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) is a composite economic index formed by averages of several individual leading economic indicators, which are weighted to produce the complete index. 

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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Robert G. Miller, CFP , RFC, LUTCF
The Miller Financial Group
7700 West Camino Real
Suite 400
Boca Raton, FL 33433
[email protected]