The Week Ahead: Not Exactly Moving Into Fourth Gear

With the close of Friday's trading, we ended the second quarter -- and all the major market indices have risen over those 13 weeks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up 2.3 to 2.4% for the quarter, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed more than 4.5%. In addition, all the major indices also closed the quarter 2.8% to 3.8% off their respective late-May highs, with the recent pullback fueled by comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke over potential stimulus tapering. However, I continue to be of the mind that the market has misconstrued Bernanke's comments -- that he merely explained the scenario under which the Fed would tighten.

As we saw last week, the economic figures continue to suggest a tepid economy ahead, not the kind moving from third to fourth gear. Core capital goods orders, excluding defense and aircraft, rose 1.1% in May, on par with data from April and March. June production and orders figures fell for June in the Chicago purchasing managers index report, while prices paid jumped. Similar findings were had in both the June Empire State and the Kansas City Fed manufacturing Surveys. Meanwhile, the June Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey showed improving orders, but also rising prices. ...425 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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