--- +21.7% Gain Leads Way In First Half of 2009 - Embarq
Update - Economic Indicators
Stock Portfolio turned in the best performance for the
first half of 2009 with a +21.7% gain. Meanwhile, the S&P
500 rose only 2.2%.
As an additional note, our
Spin-Off Stocks returned +41.8% in the first six months
of 2009, but is not included in the rankings below because
it may not be suitable for all investors due to its higher
risk rating. Embarq (EQ) was one of our speculative spin-offs
and has been acquired by CenturyTel Inc. (CTL). For investors
now holding CTL stock as a result of the acquisition, we
recommend holding CTL stock. Just be aware that CTL is a
high-risk company and is suitable only for aggressive investors.
to June '09
Economic indicators have
been mixed lately. Unemployment has not yet recovered. On
the other hand, new orders for manufactured goods have increased
1.2%. Home price data shows that 8 of 20 major cities saw
price increases and 11 of the other 20 saw a slowing down
of price drops. Only one city experienced price drops that
were worse than recent periods. And finally the Institute
for Supply Management index showed that economic activity
in the manufacturing sector rose for the sixth straight
month and was at the highest point since August of 2008.
Most of the economic indicators
that have been improving have been leading indicators while
the negative indicators (for example, unemployment) have
been mostly lagging indicators. This is likely a sign that
the economy has bottomed and is starting its upward trek.