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The “Heat Map”

February 18, 2014 | 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:  We grade this factor a C- (below average).  This is a downgrade from the last report.  See more information under “The Economy” below.

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:  We continue to grade this factor an A (very favorable).  With almost 90% of the companies in the S&P 500 index having reported, the aggregate profit growth in the fourth quarter was 9.3%, according to RBC Capital markets.  This performance continues to support a grade of A.

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