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January 8, 2010     Post-Gazette
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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, JANUARY 8, 2010 m ,,..nanc..,..y ,00vea..n00 Ben Doherty I EARNINGS ARE MIXED The final week of 2009 closed with a loss on Thurs- day, but stocks managed their best year since 2003 as they recovered from the financial crisis. Stocks fell to 12 year lows in early March with investors pessi- mism then rallied on grow- ing signs of a recovery that rallied on Wall Street's big- gest comeback since the Great Depression. American Eagle Outfitters, edged up after retailers saw increased sales without deep discounts during the holiday week and weekend. Analogic and American Science & Engineering were up 7% for the week. They make whole body amour suits and can detect explo- sives in bags, and could be a standard for airport security. Shares increased with the Xmas day attempt to set off an explosive over Detroit from Amsterdam. The stocks ran up in anticipation. Chipmaker NVIDIA gained after Kaufman's Board said the company and Marvel Technology should both ben- efit from improving demand for personal computers. Ana- lyst Stiju DeSilva said NVIDIA is well positioned, but still fear obstacle and supply con- straints, and uncertainty over the supply of new prod- ucts. It closed up 3.3%. Amica's Insurance Co., was up 23% on great earnings for the quarter. Mutual Funds investors staged a rally last year but all the new money went into bonds, but 2010 looks better for stocks, which anticipate a modest return. Investment risk hasn't gone away, as the safe haven bond funds may pose a risk of their own in 2010. Fears over in- flation and higher rates of interest could erode the value investments as rates go up, the value of bonds go down. Investors contributed about 8370 billion to bond funds in 2009, and withdrew about 84 billion for stock funds in 2009. Investors pulled 8200 billion out of money market funds which offer mini-scale returns. The herd behavior were evi- dent. When everyone's talk- ing about how much money they were making in the market and how this invest- ment stock doubled, that is when people move in the market which is irrational. People are tweaking their portfolios by using index funds. One of the bets people are taking is investing in China. China is the fastest growing economy in the world! It soon will be bigger than Japan, and in 20 years it could be as big as the U.S. You can invest in China through low cost exchange trading funds. Economists are predicting a continued high unemployment of 10% for the year. Morgan Stanley economists, Richard Berner and David Greenlaw expect hiring to pick up in the first quarter as companies boost output, which will lift home price pressure, as 5-7 mil- lion homes will be foreclosed on in March. The Federal Reserve plans to end the purchase of mortgage re- lated securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and will boost mortgage rates somewhat. At April's end, the homebuyer's tax credit of $8,000 for I st time home buyers are due to expire. Auto buying intentions hit a record low, and only 1.9% of respondents plan to buy a car within six months, the low- est figure since 1982. More small firms plan on reducing staff. Weak sales are the top issue, but higher taxes and big government looms larger. The unwinding of stimulus which is due to peak mid- year, making fiscal policy an even bigger head wind. As long as you have the pros- pect of higher future taxes on the horizon it will put a damper on activity. There is not much to look forward to, so you should keep your pow- der dry, wrote William Dun- kelburg, NFIB'S chief econo- mist. Off prices are over $80/barrel and gold prices are higher and the dollar is stronger, so the markets are stable waiting for the em- ployment report today. Happy New Yearl It's time to call your financial advisor or call me at 617-261-7777. GALLUCCIO RESIGNS State Senator Anthony Galluccio stood in a Medford courtroom on January 4, 2010 and heard District Court Judge Matthew J. Nestor state, "He didn't last a week" and concluded that Galluccio violated the alcohol restric- tion of his December 21, by Sal Giarratani 2009 probation, only three days following his home con- finement following a hit and run accident in October that injured a 13 year old boy. State Senator Anthony Galluccio officially resigned on January 5, 2010 after be- ing pressured by Senate DIVORCE * CRIMINAL * LAW OFFICES OF FRJ00K J. CIANO 230 MSGR. O'BRIEN HIGHWAY GENERAL PRACTICE OF LAW WILLS ESTATE PLANNING TRUSTS PERSONAL INJURY WORKERS COMP. 617-354-9400 Si Parla Italiano CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 02141 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS qKa0000u00, AUTO * HOMEOWNERS * TENANTS LIFE * HEALTH * BUSINESS GROUP Experience makes the difference WE PROMISE TO MEET OR IMPROVE YOUR PRESENT POLICY COVERAGE AT AFFORDABLE RATES CALL TODAY FOR YOUR QUOTE 617-523-3456 1 Longfellow - Place Suite 2322 - Boston, MA 02114 President Therese Murray to do the right thing by his constituents. Now, all eyes turn toward a special election to be called to fill out the remainder of this term. Many people have already been mentioned, includ- ing Representative Gene O'Flaherty (D) Chelsea and Charlestown's very own Danny Ryan from United States Representative Mike Capuano's office. More names are sure to follow. ST. JUDE AND ST. ANTHONY NOVENA May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, glorified, loved and preserved throughout the world now and for- ever. Sacred Heart of Jesus pray for us. St. Jude, worker of miracles, pray for us. St. Jude, help of the hopeless, pray for us. St. Anthony, most loving protector and wonder worker, pray for us. Say this prayer 9 times a day and by the 8th day your prayer will be answered. It has never been known to fail. Publication must be promised. My prayers have been answered. Favor received. ATP Vazza Funeral Homes 262 Beach St., Revere 781-284-1127 11 Henry St., E. Boston 617-567-0955 Louis R. Vazza - Mark A. Tauro Funeral Directors www.vazzafunerals.com by Sal Giarratani  .... - State Cuts Threaten Pact Teams PACT teams (Program for Assertive Community Treat- ment) keep people out of emergency rooms and psych hospitals. It also often integrates folks back into the mainstream of life rather than keeping them in the shad- ows of it. When I first went to work for the State Department of Mental Health, long periods of hospitalization was the norm for most. Programs like PACT keep people out of hospitals most of the time, but because of a drop in state revenues thanks to the economic downturn, the program called "a hospital without walls" could be on its last legs. Officials at DMH are cutting $10.3 million from its budget and two PACT sites will be shutting down to save almost $1.2 million. PACT teams are being cut by North Suffolk Mental Health Association, which serves 53 folks in six Greater Boston communities. All the choices look like bad ones, cutting staff, cutting programs and cutting services. Looks like a lose-lose situation for those folks battling mental illness and trying to stay in their own communities. Jackie Moore, the CEO of North Suffolk says, "We think it's actually going to cost the Commonwealth more money in other ways: These people are going to end up in hospi- tals and emergency rooms." I've known Jackie Moore since 1996 when she was the Center Director of the Massachu- setts Mental Health Center in the Longwood Medical Area in Boston. She isn't crying wolf here. She really cares about the clients who have benefited and will continue to benefit by a program that actually works. I have often referred to the PACT teams as leashes on life. People get to keep their independence and residences with the help of PACTS teams which act very much like a life compass. Keeping people on the road of independent life. Empowering folks to take charge of their own lives and stay healthy. Let us hope that our Beacon Hill reps and senators don't kill a good pro- gram that is cost-effective and actually works. Did You Know? They've built a homeless medical clinic out of the old city morgue at the corner of Albany Street and Massachusetts Avenue. The place was supposed to keep the homeless out of needless emergency room visits. It was supposed to provide medical care and save money from ER vlsits not done. One problem with this theory, if someone gets sick at the homeless medical center, an ambulance is called to transport the patient across Albany Street to the ER. The trip is all of .05 miles but billable by ambulance companies. You can't walk anybody across the street or just use the stretcher. You gotta use the ambulance. Doesn't make sense but what else is new, eh? It's just like giving away leftover donuts. No can do. FREE COURSE Offers Help for Families of Mentally III The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Massa- chusetts with help from The Mass. Dept. of Mental Health is sponsoring a free educational course in a downtown Boston location for family members or significant others of indi- viduals with a serious mental illness. There will be twelve weekly Wednesday evening classes from 6:30-9:00, begin- ning Wednesday, February 17, 2010 and ending on Wednes- day, May 5 , 2010. The NAMI course, which has been given nationwide to over I00,000 family members, is intended to help family caregivers cope with a close relative's mental illness. The course will cover information about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders and borderline personality disor- der. The classes also cover topics such as coping skills, cri- sis and relapse, listening and communication techniques, problem solving and limit setting techniques, and the fam- ily caregiver's need for self-care. The course is not open to individuals who themselves suf- fer from a serious mental illness, unless their condition is stable and they wish to attend as caregivers for close rela- tives who have a mental illness. The class size is normally limited to 20 people and advance registration is required. For more information or to register, please call 508-693-5872. See also www.nami.org or www.namimass.org. BOstoh, Greater Boston's Affordabte Private Cemetery Traditional Burial Ptot (for 00)Starting at 51500 * "iilt,00 MICHAEL CEMETERY 4' COMMUNITY MAUSOLEUMS GARDENCOLUMBARIUMS ,st. 617.524.1036 www.stmichaelcemetery.com the Italian community for over 100 years!