Free Market News for the Week of March 29, 2010

Presented by Mark Lund, The Investor Coach.

Quote of the week. “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.”– Marie Curie

Reforms become law. President Obama signed his long-envisioned health care reforms into law on March 23, and he will sign the amendments to the bill into law on March 30. Most of the major changes will take effect in 2014, when health insurance will become compulsory for nearly all Americans. New taxes will help fund the reforms. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the modifications will cut the federal deficit by $118 billion by 2020.1,2,3

Home sales still underwhelming. Existing home sales dipped 0.6% for February while new home sales slipped 2.2% to another all-time low (although data only goes back to 1964). Any positives in the new Commerce Department report? Yes. The median sale price of new homes was about 5% above where it was a year ago.4

A gain in durable goods orders. The 0.5% rise in February was accompanied by news that durable goods inventories increased by 0.3%, the best such gain since December 2008.5

USDI surges north. When the U.S. Dollar Index is up 1.10% for the week (and 4.82% for the month), what happens with gold and oil? Well, gold and oil prices respectively fell 0.30% and 1.20% last week, with crude futures at exactly $80.00 per barrel at Friday’s close on the NYMEX.6

S&P 500 climbs 5.62% in 4 weeks. Stocks had another fine week from March 22-26, with the NASDAQ advancing 0.87%, the Dow 1.01% and the S&P 500 0.58% as part of a great 4-week run.7

% Change


1-Yr Chg

5-Yr Avg

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S&P 500





Real Yield


1 Yr Ago

5 Yrs Ago

10 Yrs Ago






(Source:,,,, 3/26/10)8,9,10
Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be
invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends.

Riddle of the week. Two-and-a-half artists spend two-and-a-half hours painting two-and-a-half models on two-and-a-half canvases. How many artists would be necessary to paint 24 models on 24 canvases in 20 hours?

Contact my office or see next week’s Update for the answer.

Last week’s riddle: Is there a number made of eleven tens of thousands, eleven thousands, eleven hundreds and eleven units? If so, what is it??

Last week’s riddle answer: Yes – the number is 122,111. 110,000 + 11,000 + 1,100 + 11 = 122,111.

1 [3/23/10]
2 [3/26/10]
3 [3/21/10]
4–annual-rate/ [3/24/10]
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6 [3/26/10]
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10 [1/12/00]

These views are those of Peter Montoya Inc., and not the presenting Representative’s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. 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. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. www