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May 24, 2012
 
WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE

 

 

 

WEEKLY QUOTE

 

“It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.”

– Albert Einstein

 

 

WEEKLY TIP

 

Succession planning isn’t just about an orderly ownership transition. It is also about tax efficiency. Waiting too long can mean paying more in insurance premiums, fees and taxes.

 

 

WEEKLY RIDDLE

 

You need to take a gallon of oil out of a barrel of oil. How can you do it using only a 3-gallon container and a 5-gallon container?

 

 

Last week’s riddle:
It is a short and simple word, and something that everyone needs. Put an ‘r’ on the end and you have a new friend, but if the first letter goes away, you are sad. What is this word?

 

 

Last week’s answer:

Love.

 

HOUSING MARKET COOLS DOWN IN February

Nationally, home sales took a step back last month. Last week, the National Association of Realtors reported a 0.9% drop in residential resales in February. The federal government subsequently announced a 1.6% slip in new home purchases last month, although new home prices rose by over 8.0%. The year-over-year numbers are better: existing home sales have jumped 8.8% in the last 12 months, and new home sales have picked up by 11.4%. Housing starts were down 1.1% in February from January’s 4-year high, but building permits were up 5.1% for the month.1,2

INITIAL CLAIMS HIT A NEW 4-YEAR LOW
According to the Labor Department, claims fell by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000 for the week ending March 17. This is the smallest amount since March 2008.3

 

LEADING INDICATORS MOVE NORTH AGAIN
The Conference Board’s monthly index rose 0.7% for February, with reduced jobless claims and the interest rate spread exerting the most influence. Eight of the index’s ten indicators were up for the month.3

 

BULLS PRESS PAUSE BUTTON

Stocks pulled back for the week as anxieties over subpar foreign manufacturing indices inspired some profit-taking. A new concern surfaced Friday: Reuters said Iran’s oil exports had dropped 14% this month. The S&P 500 retreated 0.50% last week to 1,397.11 Friday. The DJIA lost 1.15% on the week to settle Friday at 13,080.73, while the NASDAQ advanced 0.41% in five days to wrap up Friday at 3,067.92. Gold ended the week at $1,662.40 an ounce, oil at $106.87 a barrel. Unleaded gasoline averaged $3.89 a gallon nationally in AAA’s newest price survey.4,5

 

THIS WEEK: Plenty of crucial data appears. On Monday, the National Association of Realtors tells us about February’s pending home sales, and Fed chairman Ben Bernanke speaks about the labor market at NABE’s annual conference. Tuesday, we get the January S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, the Conference Board’s March consumer confidence poll and Q4 results from Lennar and Walgreens. Wednesday, February durable goods orders figures come out plus earnings from Family Dollar and Texas Industries. Thursday offers the government’s final take on Q4 GDP and earnings from Best Buy and Research in Motion. On Friday, February consumer spending data arrives plus the final University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey for March.

 

% CHANGE

Y-T-D

1-YR CHG

5-YR AVG

10-YR AVG

DJIA

+7.06

+8.23

+0.96

+2.54

NASDAQ

+17.76

+13.70

+5.06

+6.57

S&P 500

+11.09

+7.67

-0.54

+2.16

REAL YIELD

3/23 RATE

1 YR AGO

5 YRS AGO

10 YRS AGO

10 YR TIPS

-0.11%

0.98%

2.19%

3.48%

 

Sources: msn.money.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov, treasurydirect.gov – 3/23/124,6,7,8

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly.

These returns do not include dividends.

 

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This material was prepared by Peter Montoya Inc, and does not necessarily represent the views of John Jastremski, Jeremy Keating, Erik J Larsen, Frank Esposito, Patrick Ray, Robert Welsch, Michael Reese, Brent Wolf, Andy Starostecki and The Retirement Group or FSC Financial Corp. This information should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named Representatives nor 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. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. Please consult your Financial Advisor for further information or call 800-900-5867.
The Retirement Group is not affiliated with nor endorsed by fidelity.com, netbenefits.fidelity.com, hewitt.com, resources.hewitt.com, access.att.com, ING Retirement, AT&T, Qwest, Chevron, Hughes, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, ExxonMobil, Glaxosmithkline, Merck, Pfizer, Verizon, Bank of America, Alcatel-Lucent or by your employer. We are an independent financial advisory group that specializes in transition planning and lump sum distribution. Please call our office at 800-900-5867 if you have additional questions or need help in the retirement planning process.

 

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