The Financial Index: Thursday, Jan. 12

in Market Commentary by

The Financial Index is Daily Capital’s roundup of our Editor’s Picks for the day – the best financial writing and advice from around the Web.

Stocks Flat on Tepid U.S. Economic Data

The Street: Reports from the departments of Commerce and Labor, released early this morning, started the trading day with some less-than-motivating news. Meanwhile, European government debt sales brought some positivity, though there has been little movement in the markets.

What Really Makes Your Retirement Accounts Grow

Get Rich Slowly: With 2011’s S &P 500 starting and ending in the same spot, Robert Brokamp discusses how investors could have created growth, knowledge they can use in the new year. Emphasizing contribution timing and dividend growth and reinvestment, he argues that it is possible to see growth even in a year where the S&P “went nowhere.”

12 Month Calendar and Task List For a Secure Retirement

The Digerati Life: The final year leading up to retirement is a crucial period of preparation and action. See the steps you should be taking month by month to secure your benefits, finances, and plans.

Gold Prices Rally with Euro

The Street: After facing a 5 ½-month low in December, gold prices are recovering. Successful debt sales in Italy and Spain drove the euro up today, and adding $16.20 to the value of an ounce of gold, bringing it to $1,655.80.

Buying “Less Bad” Is Not an Investment Strategy

The Motley Fool: After facing some tough years in the market, some investors are settling for accepting results that are “less bad”, but still not very good. This, however, does not make for good investment strategy; rather, as the author describes, it is investing suicide.

How to Change Your 401(k)’s Behavior

Mint: Though 401(k)s can be temperamental, there are things you can do to adjust your retirement. Stay calm and understand the context of the market and your investments to avoid stress and chasing immediate satisfaction. You can also rebalance your portfolio or raise your contribution, if you feel a change is necessary.

Year-Over-Year Gasoline and Petroleum Usage Charts; Shares Decline as Chevron Warns of Weaker 4th Quarter Earnings

Mish’s: On Wednesday Chevron predicted its fourth quarter to fall far short of the third. The actual results won’t be released until Jan. 27, but in the meantime stocks are reacting negatively.

My Crystal Ball for 2012

The Daily Reckoning: Chris Mayer makes his predictions for the market in 2012. What’s in his crystal ball? Government spending will continue to rise, as will multigenerational households, gold, and the stock market. Hugo Chavez will fall and commodities will rise, but not reach 2011 highs.

Wall Street Remains Uncertain About Which Way to Go

The Street: Since 2012 began there has been very little upward or downward movement in the stock market. Matthew Buckley comments on what may change that, including financial forces in Europe, and what may happen when the Dow hits 1300.

1 Contrarian Call Worth Heeding

The Motley Fool: Alex Dumortier takes a bearish stance, saying that he believes earnings will decline in 2012. He does, however, predict success in the banking and financial sectors (so long as the European economy can hold up).

Image used under Creative Commons by Flickr user Images_of_Money.

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