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What Investors Were Researching in February

Investors continued their search for income and equity bargains last month.

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Despite some volatility, the market managed to eke out modest gains in February.  The broad-based Morningstar US Market Index was up 1.4% in the month. Many major indexes, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average, remain very close to record highs.

The market's contained upswing comes against a background of mixed economic news. Inconclusive Italian elections led to worries that the country might be ungovernable and wouldn't be able to return to growth. Congressional leaders in Washington also failed to mitigate the sequester cuts and looked poised to embark on a bruising battle to pass a budget in March. Earnings kept coming generally in line with or above expectations, but many management teams provided disappointing outlooks. Economic data generally showed the recovery was continuing, but there were some disappointing retail and housing reports.

Jeremy Glaser has a position in the following securities mentioned above: MSFT. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.