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MLR - Pre-Market Pulse for Friday, August 22, 2014

Major averages were mixed yesterday with the NASDAQ up slightly on lighter volume while the S&P 500 made a new all-time high on slight higher volume. Fed chief Janet Yellen is giving a keynote speech today at the three-day Fed conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, but no surprises are expected. Meanwhile the indexes are extended after a multi-day move to the upside so a pullback would not be surprising. While there are some leading stocks working, the action remains somewhat tepid overall. It remains to be seen where investors will be able to make big money in this current rally phase, if at all.

Economic news was mostly upbeat yesterday with first-time jobless claims less than the consensus figure, and the Philadelphia Fed's August manufacturing survey stronger than expected. Existing-home sales in July and leading indicators for July also topped views. The Fed will have to decide in the coming months if the economy recovery is actually taking hold, despite potential data manipulation that might be showing a stronger economy than reality would dictate. The Fed should be aware of any manipulations which would fuel Yellen's dovish stance.

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