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Two Ways To Play: Honey, I Shrunk The Economy


Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.

Bloomberg reports the U.S. economy shrank at the end of 2007 and grew less than forecast in the second quarter of 2008, leaving some concerned that the country is already in a recession.

The Commerce Department said today gross domestic product increased at a 1.9% annualized rate compared with economists' estimates of 2.3%. Separately, the Labor Department said jobless claims came in at 448,000, reaching a five-year high.

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defines a recession as a "significant" decrease in economic activity over a sustained period of time. It uses figures such as GDP, payrolls, production, sales and income. For more on the U.S. economy, see Professor Kevin Depew's Five Things You Need To Know: America, The Banking Welfare State.

From the Bull Pen: Bulls are eying plays with relative strength, such as stocks within the biotech sector. The biotech ETF (IBB) can be one option.

From the Bear Cave
: The gloomy economic figures don't surprise the bears and they are content with downside plays in stocks like Saks (SKS), Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), and even Aeropostale (ARO).
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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