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MLR - PMP 3/10/14

Major averages closed mixed on higher volume. The weakness in the NASDAQ Composite was due in part to weakness in biotechs which had been leading the way since the start of 2012 but had high volume reversals over the last couple of days. Indeed the Market Vectors Bio-Tech (BBH) ETF has been lagging the general markets over the past two weeks. No apparent news caused the weakness, though it could be simply due to biotechs having become overheated as they moved higher at an even faster pace for much of February.

On Friday, non-farm payrolls topped the Street's consensus number, and unemployment rose from 6.6% to 6.7% which the market took negatively at first, then managed to climb back as this was taken as a sign that either the case is made for quantitative easing at current levels, or that the economy is recovering which pushes unemployed workers which had dropped out of the job hunt to rejoin the hunt. Either way, perception is what drives markets so one should not take the doctored unemployment numbers at face value, or draw conclusions from such numbers. It is better to monitor price/volume action of major indices and leading stocks as perception guides their price.

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