Free Market News for the Week of March 8, 2010

Presented by Mark Lund, The Investor Coach.

Quote of the week. “A person will be just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”– Abraham Lincoln

9.7% and holding. The Labor Department reported only 36,000 net job losses last month, so the jobless rate was flat for February. Economists had widely assumed the unemployment rate would inch upward due to winter weather affecting construction and retail industries.1

Major boost in factory orders. They rose 1.7% in January, according to Commerce Department data. This is the best number in four months and follows a 1.5% advance for December.2

Pending home sales sink. What does the 7.6% fall for January indicate? It would seem to signal that the extended tax credits have become less magnetic to buyers. Let’s hope sales hold up this spring as the Fed ceases its purchases of mortgage-linked securities.3

Gold, copper, oil go higher. Copper prices rose 4.10% last week to $0.134/lb. Gold gained $16.50 last week (1.48%) to settle at $1,134.80 an ounce Friday. Crude futures rose $1.84 last week (2.31%) to $81.50 per barrel on the NYMEX at Friday’s close.4

March of the bulls? Wall Street was buoyed by the unchanged jobless rate on Friday, and the Dow climbed 122.06 to cap off its 2.33% weekly gain. The S&P 500 did even better: a 3.10% rise on the week to 1,138.70 at the closing bell on Friday. The NASDAQ? It advanced 3.94% on the week to 2,326.56.5

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(Source:,,,, 3/5/10)5,6,7,8
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. What should the last entry be in the following sequence of numbers … 9|18, 8|46, 7|94, 6|63, 5|52, 4|__?

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

Last week’s riddle: Al gives Jane three boxes, one labeled DIAMONDS, one labeled PEARLS and one labeled DIAMONDS OR PEARLS. He tells her that all three boxes are labeled incorrectly and that one box contains diamonds, one pearls and the other emeralds. Al then tells Jane that if she can guess the contents of any box without opening it, she can keep the contents. How many boxes must Jane open to do this, and/or how many boxes can she keep?

Last week’s riddle answer: Jane keeps everything and does not need to open any box. Since each box is labeled incorrectly, the box labeled “Diamonds or Pearls” must contain emeralds. Therefore the box labeled “Pearls” must contain diamonds, and the box labeled “Diamonds” must contain pearls.

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8 [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. The 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