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Investing Specialists

Fourth-Quarter GDP Not a Trendsetter

Strong growth is likely to slow--temporarily--in the first half of 2012.

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U.S stock markets were basically unchanged for the week, with a quick runup based on the Federal Reserve's promise to keep rates low through 2014 and a quick trip back down on Thursday and Friday on modestly disappointing economic news and mixed earnings reports.

Housing proved yet again that the industry isn't firing on all cylinders just yet. Every positive housing data point seems to be followed by one that is less than robust. I truly think that the housing market has bottomed out, but it is a two steps forward, one step back process--just like the overall economic recovery in 2009. This month, home pricing looked better, but both pending home sales and new home sales weren't as robust as I had hoped. No disaster, but the industry lost momentum instead of building on the previous month's strength.

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