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A Look Ahead: Next Week's Market-Moving Events

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As we await a resolution to the fiscal cliff debate, investors should focus on economic data more than politically driven headlines.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL In spite of losing more than 1% this week, the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) looks like it will end 2012 with an approximate 12% gain for the year. Economic data continued to show improvement this week, with pending home sales, housing prices, and manufacturing data all coming in above expectations.

The Trade:

Take advantage of any meaningful sell-offs to add to high-quality dividend paying stocks, particularly in the transportation, manufacturing, and food and beverage sectors.

Next Week's Market-Moving Events:

Obviously the upcoming week will be dominated by talk of the fiscal cliff; this talk could begin shifting to the debt ceiling, which according to Treasury Secretary Geithner could be breached on Monday. My baseline expectation continues to be a resolution to the fiscal cliff by the third week of January. As such, investors should focus on economic data more than politically driven headlines. Here are next week's key reports:
  • Monday, December 31: Dallas Fed survey
  • Wednesday, January 2: ISM manufacturing and FOMC minutes
  • Thursday, January 3: Jobless claims
  • Friday, January 4: December employment data
Have a happy New Year, everyone – thanks for reading.

Follow Oliver Pursche on Twitter: @opursche.
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