With many market participants fretting about the sustainability of the economic recovery, we thought that last week’s slate of economic data would have to "run the table" in order for the equity market to break the slump it had been in mid-October. For the most part, the data released last week did "run the table", with the vast majority of reports coming in at or above expectations. The market also benefited from another "friendly" FOMC statement, in which Federal Reserve (Fed) policy makers upgraded their assesment of the economy, but again promised to keep rates low "for an extended period". Equity markets responded positively to the preponderance of good news, as the S&P 500 posted a healthy 3.2% gain in the week, the first weekly gain since mid October.

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