COMMENTARY | COLUMNISTS | GEORGE CHAMBERLIN

George Chamberlin's Money in the Morning

All of a sudden we are looking at 12K on the Dow Industrials again. Last Friday's knee jerk reaction to the situation in Egypt led some investors to assume a major correction -- long overdue -- was finally at hand. However, after making it through the weekend without any escalation in tensions and the continued movement of ships through the Suez Canal, stocks rebounded yesterday and are opening strong this morning.

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January turned out to be a good month for investors. The Dow Industrials were up 2.7 percent, the best January since 1997. The S&P 500 was up 2.3 percent and the Nasdaq rose 1.8 percent. Since 1970, in years when the Dow and S&P 500 have posted gains in January, the overall market has turned in a positive performance for the entire year 92 percent of the time.

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One of the big concerns about the stock market right now has been the high level of optimism for 2011. What is interesting is that investment advisers seem to be saying, "do as I say, not as I do." Five years ago 65 percent of institutional assets were invested in stocks. Today that number stands just below 50 percent.

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One stock that is not doing well this morning is San Diego-based Orexigen Therapeutics. The shares are down 70 percent after the Food and Drug Administration issued a letter of concern regarding cardiovascular safety as it relates to the application for Contrave, the company's treatment for obesity.CEO Michael Narachi said he is "surprised and extremely disappointed" with the FDA's request for more information and Orexigen will "work closely with the agency to gain more information to determine appropriate next steps." The potential for weight loss treatments is growing. The Centers for Disease Control says 26 million Americans have diabetes, up 9 percent from 2008.

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The DiscoverSmall Business Watch index has climbed to its highest level since December 2007. While still concerned about the U.S. economy, the survey finds "A cautious optimism among small business owners has emerged over the last five months."

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A survey of manufacturing activity in the U.S. rose last month for the 20th straight month. The Institute for Supply Management said new orders and employment rose during January to the highest level since last May.

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Looking for a good Super Bowl indicator? The folks at RiseSmart, an outplacement and recruiting company, determined that the city with the lowest unemployment rate has won the big game 80 percent of the time over the past 20 years. So, here's where it stands for Sunday's game: The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 8.1 percent compared to 7.7 percent in Green Bay. That gives the edge to the Packers over the Steelers. In 1995 when the Chargers played the 49ers, the jobless rate here was 7.1 percent compared to 5.9 in San Francisco. As you may remember, the Niners stomped the Chargers in that game.

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Just in case you haven't heard, there's a good chance it will be snowing at Cowboys Stadium near Dallas at kickoff time on Sunday. A super nasty weather front is working its way down across the plains and could settle in over the weekend. The stadium is mostly enclosed but has a big opening at the top. The weather here will probably be in the 70s this Sunday but the NFL -- like the PGA -- seems committed to keeping San Diego out of the loop for major sporting events.

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