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Investing Specialists

Consumers Get Some Room to Breathe

A better employment market and moderating prices should give a lift to consumers.

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There was a lot of economic and earnings news this week, much of it positive.  Meanwhile, Europe was delightfully quiet for a change. And fortunately, China's GDP growth rate didn't take the deep fourth-quarter plunge that many had feared.

With that backdrop, the S&P 500 made its third weekly gain of 2012, and the market is now 4.6% ahead of year-end levels. Housing news was surprisingly positive, consumer prices were tame, and the employment market looked healthier yet again. 

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