Eagle Eye Opener: Dow Climbs to New High; Microsoft Takes $83 Million Hit from EU; Storm Slams U.S. East Coast

Eagle Eye Opener

Dow Reaches New High — Despite Sequestration Cuts (AP)

Continued enthusiasm about new economic data from the United States pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average to an all-time high yesterday and a close of 14,284. The news also propelled European markets to four-year highs with the FTSE closing at 6,439, France’s CAC 40 ending at 3,798 and Germany’s DAX winding up at 7,950. These gains reflect that investors still are pouring into the markets despite the expected downturn from the $85 billion in mandatory spending cuts in the United States from sequestration.  Ultimately, it’s anybody’s guess who wins out, bulls or bears, so stay sharp investors.

Microsoft Takes $733 Million Hit for Browser Boo Boo (YahooFinance)

The European Union (EU) fined Microsoft Corporation the equivalent of $733 million for breaking an agreement to offer users a choice of Internet browsers, rather than forcing Internet Explorer on them. However, the company seemed to forget that 2009 agreement in 2010 and 2011. Instead, Microsoft foisted Internet Explorer on some 15 million Windows 7 users in those years. This situation marks the first time that a company has failed to honor an agreement with the EU. It figures that the neighborhood bully would be the first to step up and test the resilience of the pact… In this case, resilience costs more than $730 million.

Saturn Slams into East Coast — Causes Havoc (USAToday)

Winter Storm Saturn crossed into the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the United States Wednesday morning to bring much-needed moisture to the dried out region. However, investors in regional transportation should be ready to take a hit, as cities at elevation see the moisture in the form of snow — and a lot of it in places. In fact, locations in Virginia and Western Maryland already are reporting as much as eight inches. Closer to the cost, rain mixed with high winds — and the threat of snow or ice accumulation — has forced more than 1,000 flight cancellations collectively at Reagan National, Washington Dulles and BWI airports. Snow removal crews and power company workers stand ready to respond, should the coastal rain to turn snow.

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It was a very good week for your Alpha Investor Letter portfolio. The Dow Jones jumped 2.54%, hitting a new record high. The S&P 500 rose 2.86%. The MCSI Emerging Markets Index also recovered 1.11%. It is encouraging that the S&P 500 broke out of a recent trading range yesterday. Its next major point of resistance is around 1,565. That said, if history is any guide, it will take a while for it to break through that long-term resistance level. Your biggest gainers included

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