The Miller Financial Group
 
New Highs! Now What?
Weekly Update - February 4, 2013
In This Issue
Performance
Headlines
Recipe
Golf Tip
Health Tip
Green Fact
The Markets:

Markets continued their rally last week, with the Dow cracking 14,000 for the first time since 2007. Boosted by positive employment news, all the major indices are doing well, with the S&P 500 posting its longest winning streak since 2004.[1] For the week, the S&P 500 gained 0.68%, the Dow gained 0.82%, and the Nasdaq gained 0.93%.[2] The Dow is now up 6.9% in 2013 and has rallied 114% since the bear market low in March 2009.[3]

Last week saw the release of a flood of economic data. In an unexpected surprise, U.S. GDP contracted in the fourth quarter by 0.1%. Fortunately, economists believe that the number is artificially low because of some unusual factors, including lower defense spending. Increases in consumer spending, construction, and business investment showed that the economy is still on a moderate growth path, and absent certain oddities, would have grown at a very respectable 2.5%.[4] 

January's final consumer sentiment number beat expectations, as consumers regained confidence lost during December's fiscal cliff debate; though people are still worried about the new tax increases and gas price hikes.[5] The latest employment numbers show that the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9%, however, some of the increase is seasonal in nature. Even better, economists are revising their 2012 employment numbers as more jobs were created than they originally thought.[6]

As earnings season wraps up, we can say that the trend has been just "good enough;" not great, but not awful either. Total earnings for S&P 500 companies that have already reported are up nearly 2% over the third quarter, meaning that companies are doing better than last year. Generally speaking, executives are upbeat about future earnings and business conditions, meaning we could see even better performance in the first quarter.[7]

After last week's flood of economic reports, this week will be slow in terms of data; however, analysts will be looking at Thursday's jobs report and productivity to determine whether the economy is still on a positive trend. While we're happy that the market is experiencing a rally out of the gate, now that we're pushing close to historic highs, let's talk about what could cause markets to pull back. With next week so light on data, it's possible that traders will turn their attention to the so-called "sequester cliff," the mandatory federal spending cuts due to hit March 1, and the ongoing debt ceiling deliberations in Washington. While many economists don't see the sequester as a huge problem, it will adversely affect certain sectors (such as defense) and possibly cause market jitters. 
 
As stocks move towards a sixth week of gains, it's good to keep in mind that the markets are cyclical in nature, and that ups and downs are both elements of healthy markets.[8] Whether the bull keeps running or loses some steam, our focus will remain on helping our clients make appropriate investment decisions in harmony with their personal financial goals - something we do in every market environment. 

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



Performance


 

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

Headlines:

Manufacturing grows at highest pace in nine months. The pace of U.S. manufacturing growth grew rapidly in January as new orders and employment increased. The rate is the highest since April of last year.[9]  

Superbowl-related spending could reach $10 billion. With nearly 100 million fans watching the big game, retailers are expecting consumers to spend as much as $9.6 billion on snacks, alcohol, team memorabilia, and electronics this year.[10]  

U.S. construction sites boost hiring. 82,000 new construction jobs were added between November and January, the biggest three-month gain since April 2006, indicating that we can expect a strong performance from the housing and construction sector this quarter.[11] 

Baltimore Ravens claim Superbowl XLVII. The exciting game between the Ravens and San Francisco 49ers was decided in the final minutes, with the final score 34-31 Ravens.



Quote of the Week
"The only way of finding the limits of the possible is
by going beyond them into the impossible."

- Arthur C. Clarke
Recipe of the Week

Easy Rice Pudding




This simple, gluten-free dessert is delicious and low-stress.  
Recipe from RealSimple.com.


Ingredients:
2 cups instant rice (such as Minute Rice)
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for garnishing (optional)

Directions
  1. Prepare the rice according to the package directions. Uncover, add the ice cream and cinnamon, and stir.
  2. Divide the pudding among individual bowls and top with additional cinnamon, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.
 


Golf Tip

Wrist Action


Be careful not to flex the wrists when chipping and putting. Golfers usually do not even realize they are flexing their wrists during these shots. When this happens, controlling distance becomes almost impossible, loft will be incorrect at impact, and putts lose true roll and consistent distance control.
 
Always keep your wrist solid and avoid flexing them for putts or chip shots. This is imperative to achieve consistency.

Healthy Lifestyle

Sleep to Lose Weight

A good night's sleep is one of the best things you can do to lose weight since it gives you more energy to burn calories during the day. According to an AARP report, people who get fewer than six hours of sleep are 27% more likely to become obese. Those who sleep only four hours a night are 67% more likely to pack on the pounds.

Green Living

Go Car-Less for One Day

If you want to make a simple impact on your family's carbon footprint, pledge to go car-less for just one day. You can walk, bike, or take public transportation to your destination, or stay in the neighborhood for the day.

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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
561-353-3700
[email protected]
http://www.tmfg.com