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Weekly Economic Update for the Week of January 26, 2009

Quote of the week. “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.” – Mahatma Gandhi

A stimulus by February? President Barack Obama asserts that the $825 billion economic stimulus package introduced by House Democrats will be ready for passage by February 16.1 On Thursday, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) pushed for a tax break that would let money-losing businesses to get refunds for taxes paid within the last five years rather than the last two years. The Committee rejected a Republican proposal to cut capital gains taxes as an amendment to the stimulus.2

Yet more housing blues. Housing starts dropped 16% in December, to the slowest pace since the start of Commerce Department recordkeeping in 1959. In November, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s price index was down 8.7% from its November 2007 level. Additionally, RealtyTrac measured 2.3 million homes in foreclosure last year – another all-time high.3

Toyota is #1 automaker on earth. At least in total sales terms: Toyota sold 9.97 million cars last year to General Motors’ 8.36 million. So ends GM’s 77-year reign as the world’s top-selling automaker. Worldwide, Toyota sales have risen approximately 70% since 1999.4

Stocks rollercoaster. Poor indicators + alternately encouraging and discouraging earnings reports + Microsoft’s first-ever major layoffs = a volatile week on the Street. Where did the big three indices finish for the week? The Dow closed at 8,077.56, the NASDAQ at 1,477.29, and the S&P 500 at 831.95.5

% Change Y-T-D 1 Year 5-Yr Avg
DJIA -7.96 -34.17 -4.71
NASDAQ -6.32 -36.23 -6.09
S&P 500 -7.89 -37.85 -5.42

(Source: CNNMoney.com, 1/23/09)6
Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot
be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends.

Riddle of the week. What five-letter English word does not change its pronunciation when you take four letters away from it?

Contact our office or see next week’s email for the answer.


These views are those of Peter Montoya Inc., and not the presenting Representative or the Representative’s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the "NYSE") and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world's largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. Please consult your Financial Advisor for further information. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards.

1 usatoday.com/news/washington/legislative/2009-01-23-obama23_N.htm [1/23/09]
2 online.wsj.com/article/SB123265696973507379.html [1/22/09]
3 bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aptpd4__urTw&refer=home [1/22/09]
4 baltimoresun.com/business/bal-bz.toyota22jan22,0,516248.story [1/22/09]
5 money.cnn.com/ [1/23/09]
6 money.cnn.com/data/markets/dow/? [1/23/09]
6 money.cnn.com/data/markets/nasdaq/? [1/23/09]
6 money.cnn.com/data/markets/sandp/? [1/23/09]
6 money.cnn.com/quote/historical/historical.html?pg=hi&close_date=1%2F23%2F08&mode=add&symb=DJIA [1/23/09]
6 money.cnn.com/quote/historical/historical.html?pg=hi&close_date=1%2F23%2F04&mode=add&symb=DJIA [1/23/09]
6 money.cnn.com/quote/historical/historical.html?pg=hi&close_date=1%2F23%2F08&mode=add&symb=COMP [1/23/09]
6 money.cnn.com/quote/historical/historical.html?pg=hi&close_date=1%2F23%2F04&mode=add&symb=COMP [1/23/09]
6 money.cnn.com/quote/historical/historical.html?pg=hi&close_date=1%2F23%2F08&mode=add&symb=SPX [1/23/09]
6 money.cnn.com/quote/historical/historical.html?pg=hi&close_date=1%2F23%2F04&mode=add&symb=SPX [1/23/09]