Investors continued to pull money out of stock and bond funds in December, although advisors for the most part are optimistic. In a time for counting your blessings, market-watchers point to strong company profits in Europe, a thorough report from the U.S. budget-deficit commission, and better-than-expected U.S. retail sales. After a spell of spending, Americans may need to ratchet down “Great Expectations,” says Timothy Barron at Rogerscasey. But don’t bet on the end of productivity growth, he says: the U.S. economy has averaged 1.8% gains for more than a century. 

Dorsey D. Farr, French, Wolf and Farr Investment Advisors

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