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The “Heat Map”

March 4, 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 is 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- (slightly above average).

OTHER CONCERNS: The “Heat Map” is indicating the U.S. stock market is in good shape ASSUMING no international crisis. The Greek government and the European officials have extended the loans with which Greece is saddled for 4 months which delays the hard choices which must be made. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of crisis, we rate these collectively as a 2, a decrease from 3 last week. These risks deserve our ongoing attention.

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