201301.31
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GDP, Q4 2012 Preliminary

Government spending and inventory builds were good in Q3, according to economists, when they pushed GDP accounting above expectations. Those same two economic accounts dramatically reduced economic activity in Q4, so economists are now intimating that the resulting contraction is something other than real. On the part of government spending, it probably should be ignored…

201301.28
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Durable Goods Trend Unchanged

Despite all the reported safety problems with the Dreamliner 787, Boeing had a terrific month to close out 2012. The company received 183 orders in December, a pickup in pace over the 124 in November (and the 101.8% decline for non-defense aircraft in August 2012). That led to a headline increase in total durable goods…

201301.28
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RIP Cleo

We had to put down our wonderful dog Cleo today. Her arthritis had gotten so bad she could barely stand and we didn’t want her to suffer anymore. She lost her buddy Caesar a couple of years ago and it had really been downhill since. We had her for 13 wonderful years and we’ll never…

201301.27
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A Closer Look: World Markets

In mid-November, the S&P 500 ((IVV)) had just finished breaking its 200-day moving average on its way to a multi-year low at the 1343 level. Since then, the index has been on a tear, gaining over 12% in a little over 2 months. It finds itself at a critical stage though, as the index shows…

201301.27
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Batten Down The Hatches

Back in November I wrote a weekly commentary that I called Looking For Silver Linings. The market had been taking a beating in the post election period and I wasn’t feeling particularly good about my forecasting skills. I had written a commentary just two weeks before arguing that the election really didn’t matter that much…

201301.25
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Tactical Update

For clients in our Global Opportunities portfolio, we have seen quite a run in our largest holding, Visa.  Visa has doubled in the last 18 months.  This out-performance has pushed Visa’s exposure in the portfolio to close to 1.5 times it’s target weight.  Though the stock has been a very good performer,  concentration in any one…

201301.25
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QE 3 & Home Sales

December sales of new homes was disappointing in that the adjusted pace did not keep up with previous months. From May 2012 through October 2012, year-over-year increases in new sales levels stayed consistently above 20%. That drove expectations that the trend in residential real estate had finally turned. Given available data, that does seem to…

201301.25
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Jobless Claims Apparently Go Both Ways

From the Department of Labor, announcing a 5-year low in adjusted jobless claims: “The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 436,766 in the week ending January 19, a decrease of 119,944 from the previous week. There were 416,880 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.” [emphasis added] According to…

201301.25
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Unilever Earnings – Q4 and Full Year

Unilever PLC ((UL)), a British consumer goods company in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, jumped to all-time highs after posting better than expected earnings results for the last quarter of 2012. Unilever, producer of brands such as Axe, Dove, Vaseline, Lipton, Hellman’s, and Knorr, earlier reported underlying sales growth of 6.9 percent for 2012,…