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Market Commentary

07/02/2009 --- +21.7% Gain Leads Way In First Half of 2009 - Embarq Update - Economic Indicators

Our Value 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 Speculative 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.

Portfolio
Return Jan. to June '09

Value Stock Portfolio
21.74%
Industry/Sector Spotlight
19.09%
Beginner Fund
16.47%
Index Funds & ETFs
10.65%
Primary Stock Portfolio
9.57%
One-Stop Shopping No-Load Funds
9.39%
Socially Responsible Fund Portfolio
8.53%
Bear Market Portfolio
8.26%
International Stock Portfolio
8.06%
High-Yield Value Stock Portfolio
6.70%
Highly-Rated No-Load Fund Portfolio
6.47%
S&P 500
2.20%
High-Dividend Blue Chip Stock Portfolio
0.25%

 

***

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.


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