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Chart of the Week Archive

Wild Ride in Metals and Mining

Wild Ride in Metals and Mining

After a free fall that saw metals and mining stocks decline over 80% throughout the summer and fall, the sector recovered strongly in December before pulling back towards the end of the month.

The SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF (XME) hit a 52 week high of $94.34 on June 30 and bottomed at $17.37 on November 20.  The equal-weighted fund holds 24 companies with portfolio concentrations of 70% in materials and 30% in energy.

Top hold

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Obama's Infrastructure Rally

Obama's Infrastructure Rally

As the Obama administration prepares the details behind a highly anticipated stimulus plan, investors are placing bets on sectors likely to benefit and infrastructure is among the favorites.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the new administration will need to spend $20 billion a year above current levels on roads and highways just to maintain today's levels of highway safety and traffic flow.  School building repairs, broadband expansion and energy efficiency spending on public building

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Housing Starts Hit 50 Year Low

Housing Starts Hit 50 Year Low

November housing starts dropped 19% to 625,000, the lowest level since the Commerce Department began keeping records in 1959.

According to MarketWatch, economists had predicted a seasonally adjusted pace of 725,000 in November.

New housing permits were also lower, coming in at 616,000 or 48% below November 2007.

The market reacted positively to the news

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McDonalds Earnings are Sizzling

McDonalds Earnings are Sizzling

As the rest of the economy struggles with the credit crunch and rising unemployment, McDonalds (MCD) has been on a tear.

Cumulative earnings are up 42% over the past four quarters and Q4 appears to be on track with October sales up 8.2%

With strong sales and earnings results, shareholders have been rewarded with a 33% dividend increase and a $1 billion stock buy back in Q3.

The stock price has held steady in a year when the rest of the market is down 40%.

ETFs wit

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Financials Back from the Brink

Financials Back from the Brink

After the Federal Government threw a lifeline to Citigroup (C) at the beginning of last week, the large cap financials have recovered nicely.

The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) is up 35% from the close on November 20.  Over the same time period, the S&P 500 (SPY) is up 19%.

XLF top holdings includes Citi as well as other major financial players such as JP M

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