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Performance - Week Ending 03/16/12

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March 18, 2012 – Comments (0)

The Wax Ink portfolio gained 1.3% for the week, in line with the 1.6% gain of the Russell 2000, but worse than the 2.4% increase in the Dow. It was also a worse showing than the 2.2% increase in the Nasdaq and the 2.4% increase in the S&P 500. The Wax Ink Portfolio is up 16.6% year to date.

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A smattering of domestic economic issues through the week never seemed to get investor's attention, with the lower consumer sentiment number and flat a flat industrial production number pretty much non-events for the markets this week, as was the FOMC leaving fed funds target rate at 0.0% to 0.25%.

On the employment front, initial jobless claim numbers continue to fall, down 14,000 for the week. While certainly not a direct correlation, coupling the jobs claim numbers with the increase in the Empire Manufacturing Survey number to its highest level in more than a year, may just be the impetus that traders need to get the markets moving upward.

Of course then some junior government employee will innocently say something to a friend about inflation, and faster than the President can get his bust added to Mt. Rushmore, look out Rutherford, traders will send the markets into selling hell, which make us wonder; Where is Jack Burton when America needs him?

Meanwhile on the political front, Newt Gingrich, thinking he was a tortoise last week now loves life, Chris Christie is getting ready to go a few rounds with an ex-Navy seal, Rick Perry still can't remember what the third thing is, and House Speaker John Boehner has finally figured out that the he is speaker over a House divided, having realized that some of the members are the dumbest and some of the members are the smartest.

What wasn't clear is where the speaker fits into the mix since he is consistently on one side or the other.

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Showing the way in the Wax Ink Portfolio this week were building materials manufacturer USG Corporation (NYSE: USG), up 23%, wire mesh and rebar maker Insteel Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: IIIN), up 8%, payday loan company Moneygram, Inc. (NYSE: MGI), up 6%, and conglomerate General Electric (NYSE: GE), up 6%.

Sputtering to the down side was uranium enrichment company USEC, Inc., (NYSE: USU), down 5%, and reconstituted tobacco manufacturer Schweitzer-Maudit International, Inc., (NYSE: SWM), down 4%.

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