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Week in Review: February 1, 2008


A look back at the week that was...


Market Recap

The Four Sisters stalled just shy of 1400 on the SPX this week as the markets closed off their first month of 2008. The SPX had its worst month in nearly twenty years. Trading began the week with a global sell off, causing jitters among equity traders. The markets soon caught their footing as the Fed cut interest rates by an expected 50 basis points. Credit markets improved slightly, but this rally should be viewed with caution as credit turmoil still persists highlighted by the uncertainty surrounding the bond insurers.

Markets were able to shrug off a poor jobs number Friday but were held under their intermediate resistance level of 1405. We view the latest bounce as bargain hunting and short covering and a retest of prior lows is most likely in the coming weeks.

The Four Sisters Performance

ETF Watch

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Top Headlines

Investors looked for a lower open in pre market trading on Monday as global markets sold off earlier in the day. The Japanese Nikkei index fell 4 percent while the London FTSE 100 shed 2.05 percent. (1/28)

New Home Sales fell 4.7% in the month of December despite builders slashing prices by 10%. This decline solidified 2007`s record 26% drop in new-home sales. (1/28)

Senator John McCain won a hard fought battle against Mitt Romney in the Florida primaries on Tuesday, setting himself apart as the clear frontrunner for the Republican ticket. On the Democratic side Hillary Clinton easily defeated Barack Obama, providing further proof that there is not yet a clear favorite for the Democrats. (1/29)

On the heels of last week's 75 bp emergency rate cut and lingering recession fears, the Fed cut rates once again on Wednesday by 50 bp in their regularly scheduled meeting. Chairman Bernanke also indicated that due to current stress in the credit markets additional rate cuts are a possibility. (1/30)

Friday's job report marked the first negative job growth since August 2003. In January payrolls declined by 17,000, far from analyst estimates of an 85,000 gain. Unemployment fell slightly on the month to 4.9% from 5%. (2/1)

Earnings Snapshot

Verizon (VZ) reported strong year end results this week as the telecom giant saw revenues rise 5.5% in 2007, highlighted by strong growth in their wireless and broadband sectors. (1/28)

3M Co. (MMM) pleased investors this week as the Dow component outpaced estimates, reporting EPS of $1.19 versus an expected $1.17. Share prices inched higher this week after the report. (1/29)

Altria (MO) posted results on Wednesday as the company saw 4Q net income slip 26% and EPS fall to $1.03 from $1.40 a year ago. (1/30)

CVS Caremark (CVS) saw outstanding results this week as the company reported a spike in 4Q income to $815 mln, up from $417.2 mln a year ago. (1/31)

Exxon Mobil (XOM) topped revenue records this week as the energy giant reported $11.66 bln in 4Q revenue, easily surpassing its $10.25 bln mark from the same quarter last year. Record $90 per barrel oil prices played a large role in the company's performance this quarter. (2/1)

Market Movers: Winners & Sinners

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