Market Commentary February 22, 2012

The market continued its upward trend since the start of the year, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average breaking 13,000 yesterday for the first time this year.  Despite the market’s upward momentum, several factors continue to present headwinds to a long-term, sustainable rally.  While the recent solution to the Greek debt crisis created a near-term boost to the markets, it failed to provide any real long-term solution.  Additionally, rising crude oil prices, which hit nine month highs on the back of escalating tension in the Middle East, will begin to weigh on the U.S. economic recovery.  Economic data remains mixed, and as the earnings season winds down, reports from the retail sector in the upcoming week should provide a more insightful look at consumer behavior in the current environment.

Right now we expect this market to move either sideways or down in the near term as the market digests all of this news.

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