2012 February 28 | timiacono.com

Know Your Asset Classes!

Also in the current issue of the Weekend Update at Iacono Research was the graphic below that  goes a long way in explaining why the Iacono Research model portfolio has done so well over the years and how it might continue to do so in the months and years ahead.

As noted in this item yesterday, the new combined blog/investment website will launch in just another week or two, at which time, the cost of the newsletter will be going up quite a bit, so, anyone interested in learning more about the chart above and saving some money on a new subscription might consider going here before that opportunity passes.

As always, there is a 60-day, no questions asked, money back guarantee.

Consumers Shrug Off Surging Gas Prices

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index reversed January’s decline with a February surge to near the recovery high as an improving labor market seems to have trumped surging gasoline prices … for the time being. The index jumped from 61.5 last month to 70.8, just down from the recovery high of 72.0 one year ago.

Those saying jobs were “hard to get” fell from 43.3 percent to 38.7 percent, the lowest since late-2008, as Americans were more confident about their earning potential, 15.4 percent expecting their income to rise versus only 12.7 percent who were pessimistic.

In looking at the relationship between consumer confidence and gasoline prices above, it would appear that there has not yet been enough time for recently surging pump prices to have an impact on consumer outlooks as has happened reliably in the past.

The fact that the winter gas price surge has been so sudden and that miles driven at this time of the year are far less than in the spring and summer would suggest Americans still don’t fully appreciate how much $4 and $5 gas prices are going to hurt.

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New Lows for Case Shiller Home Prices

Standard & Poor’s reported that home prices continued to decline in late-2011, the national composite index down 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter, 4.0 percent lower for the year, while both the 10-City and 20-City monthly indexes declined 1.1 percent in December and saw annual returns of -3.9 percent and -4.0 percent, respectively.

Property values fell in 18 of the 20 regions in the index as Phoenix and Miami – two areas hit particularly hard during the bursting of the housing bubble – posted modest advances. Detroit led all declining regions with a drop of 3.8 percent in December, followed by Chicago and Atlanta where prices were down 2.0 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the 10-city and 20-city indexes fell only 0.5 percent to close out 2011, their sixth straight monthly decline, and both indexes indicated that home prices were down four percent for the year.

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Tuesday Morning Links

MUST READS
Europe’s Banks Addicted to ECB’s Cheap Money – Spiegel
S&P declares Greek ’selective default’ after bailout – BBC
ECB temporarily suspends Greek bonds as collateral – Reuters
German Parliament Approves Greek Bailout Package – Spiegel
Italian Yields Reach 10-Month Low on ECB Cash – Bloomberg
California gas prices jump 26 cents in a week – LA Times
Gas prices high? Oil price survey points to more increases. – CSM
California AG Harris wants halt to foreclosures – McClatchy
Buffett mocks Christie for ‘write a check and shut up’ remark – The Hill
Extend & Pretent Coming to an End – The Burning Platform
A US Boon in Low-Cost Borrowing – NY Times
Miserable Wants Company – aucontrarian

MARKETS/INVESTING
Oil falls to $108 onweak demand – AP
Gold firms ahead of ECB financing – Reuters
The Market’s Pullback Watch – Barron’s
Is This Stock Market Rally for Real? – Time
Bull Market Stampedes Over Those Calling for Correction – CNBC
Paulsen Predicts ‘Lousy Year’ for Treasuries – Bloomberg
Monetary gold to act more visibly in inter-government finance – Mineweb
Gold struggles to test $1800 on lingering uncertainties – Commodity Online
Central banks gold buying remains robust in January – BullionStreet
China refines its role in global gold market – LA Times

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
Economy Squeezed As Debt Accelerates – Ron Paul
Why We Should Be Worried about a Double-Dip Recession – US News
Cash Is Better Than Food Stamps in Helping Poor – Bloomberg
China risks ‘middle income trap’ without free market revolution – Telegraph
‘Greater Chances Outside’: German Minister Calls for Greek Euro Exit – Spiegel
Crisis Management Rift: Merkel Rebukes Minister for Comments on Greece – Spiegel
Shanghai Raises Minimum Wage 13% as China Seeks to Boost Demand – Bloomberg
Fall in house prices accelerates – Irish Times
Europe in housing market agony, says Rics – BBC
Signs of upturn in Phoenix’s long-suffering housing market – USA Today
The Fed’s Anti-Recession Effort May Unleash 15% Inflation – Investors.com
RAHN: Fixing the Federal Reserve – Washington Times

 
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