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The “Heat Map”

January 12, 2015 | Weekly Commentary

Most of the time the U.S. stock market looks to 3 factors (call them the “pillars” that support the stock market) to support its upward trend – let’s grade each of the pillars.

CONSUMER SPENDING: This grade an A (very favorable) due to the favorable effect of lower gasoline and heating oil prices.

THE FED AND ITS POLICIES: We continue to grade this factor an A+ (extremely favorable) because the FED cannot do much more than it is doing to support the stock market and asset prices.

BUSINESS PROFITABILITY: This factor’s grade is a B+ (above average).

OTHER CONCERNS: The “Heat Map” is indicating the U.S. stock market is in good shape ASSUMING no international crisis. We have added the risk of an EBOLA pandemic to the “powder keg” in the Middle East to the situations to be watched. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of crisis, we rate these collectively as a 2. Risks continue to lurk, and they deserve our ongoing attention.

NOTE: There is no change from the prior week.

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