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Investing Specialists

Betting with Buffett

Several data points all suggest huge medium- to long-term potential for the U.S. economy from today's levels.

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Overall, it was an excellent week for the economy. The only fly in the ointment was Friday's exceptionally hard-to-interpret employment report, which showed unemployment bolting past the 10% barrier amid reports of higher-than-expected job losses.

Now, before the doom-and-gloom pessimists let loose a cathartic burst of "I told you so," consider this: Individual components of the release, and a more nuanced view of the data, showed some bright spots.

I have never been a huge fan of the monthly job report, so I was glad to see other important employment indicators paint a more flattering picture of the employment landscape. These include the Challenger Gray and Christmas Layoffs Report, the employment component of the ISM purchasing managers report for manufacturers, and the ADP Report. Shockingly, the market seemed to agree, and reacted far more favorably than I might have expected to Friday's numbers.

Robert Johnson, CFA does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.