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George Chamberlin's Money in the Morning

Two hundred and seventy points. That's all it will take for the Dow Industrials to set a new all-time closing high. And, considering the rapid flow of economic data due out this week the new high could arrive sooner rather than later. The blue chip index rose 71 points on Friday, marking the 11th time in the past 12 sessions it has posted a gain. The Dow is up more than 6 percent in January with only four trading sessions remaining this month. The S&P 500, by the way, closed Friday at its highest level since November 2007.

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The parade of economic news started this morning with the release of the durable goods orders for December. The Department of Commerce said orders for items with a life expectancy of three years or more -- cars, airplanes, refrigerators, etc. -- rose by a whopping 4.6 percent last month to more than $230 billion. That follows an increase of 0.7 percent in November. A big chunk of the increase was from orders for transportation equipment, up 11.9 percent.

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This week will also highlight a series of jobs reports capped off on Friday with the official government report for January regarding changes in payrolls and the nation's unemployment rate. And the Fed will hold its first meeting of 2013 on Tuesday and Wednesday. It will be interesting to see how the monetary panel reacts to what has certainly been a string of powerful economic reports. Bernanke will ultimately have to make a tough decision: when to pull support away from the economy as it picks up momentum. Investors have repeatedly squawked every time there is a chance the massive bond purchasing program has been threatened, raising the possibility of higher interest rates.

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Tax time will be more expensive this year and I'm not talking about how much you'll owe Uncle Sam and Governor Jerry. The National Society of Accountants -- I bet they have one crazy holiday party -- reported the cost of hiring a professional to prepare your state and federal income tax forms by April 15 will cost an average of $246 this year. "I think most people would say this is worth the money. Especially when you think about how long it will take you to do the return. Just reading the instructions can take hours, let alone filling it out," said John Ams, executive director of the NSA. Here in the Pacific region, the cost rises to $288.

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Aloha. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, 2012 was a record-setter for visitors to the islands, topping 8 million people, breaking the old record in 2006 and up 9.6 percent from 2011. While vacationing in the Aloha State, visitors spent a record $14.3 billion. The number of Japanese visitors rose by 17 percent based on more flights to the islands and a weaker dollar, giving them more bang for their yen.

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Despite a fogged-in day on Saturday, the Farmers Insurance Open has been a big success. Yesterday was beautiful and the fact that Tiger Woods is leading the tournament and playing like the Tiger of old has certainly added to the excitement. The guys are gathering this morning to finish the fourth round, which was cut short by darkness yesterday. Tiger carries a six-stroke lead into the finish but is being chased by the two guys who have won the event in the past two years, Brandt Snedeker and Nick Watney. Parking and admission are free today for fans who want to watch the final few holes, an even that is strikingly similar to the 2008 U.S. Open playoff. Obviously there isn't as much on the line but it will be a beautiful day, something that won't be lost to the people across the country who will tune in to watch Tiger.

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Speaking of the U.S. Open, lost in the excitement at Torrey Pines was the announcement that the 2020 U.S. Open will be held at the Winged Foot Golf Club in New York, once again snubbing the West Coast. It is truly amazing the only Open to be played in the West in the next eight years will be in 2014 at the Chambers Bay golf course in Washington -- where? -- and in 2019 when it comes back to Pebble Beach. The PGA bias toward the East Coast, where most of the executives reside, is obvious. If you asked people across the country to name the most exciting U.S. Open they can remember it would definitely be the 2008 Open at Torrey Pines when Tiger beat Rocco Mediate in the Monday playoff. Why they refuse to return here is a mystery.

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