Dow Jones Today Soars as Warren Buffett Releases Annual Letter Excerpt Early

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) was up 183 points, to 16,286, at 1:30 p.m. despite the absence of real economic news. The most interesting announcement of the day is that Warren Buffett released an excerpt of his annual letter early, warning investors of the dangers of too much activity. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) was up 20 points to 1,856.

There was one U.S. economic release today, the Markit flash services purchasing managers index, which didn't tell us anything we didn't already know. Namely, that the U.S. economy continues to slowly expand. Numerous reports due later this week should offer more clarity on both the U.S. and world economies.

Tuesday, Feb. 25

Period

Expectations

Previous

Case-Shiller national home price index

December

13.1%

13.7%

Consumer confidence index

February

80.1

80.7

 

     

Wednesday, Feb. 26

     

New home sales

January

400,000

414,000

       

Thursday, Feb. 27

     

Durable goods orders

January

-1.5%

-4.2%

Yellen speaks before banking committee

     

Japan inflation rate

January

1.7%

1.6%

       

Friday, Feb. 28

     

GDP (1st revision)

2013 Q4

2.4%

3.2%

Univ. of Michigan consumer sentiment

February

81.8

81.2

Euro Area inflation

February

0.7%

0.8%

The ones to pay attention to for the U.S. are Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's testimony before the Senate banking committee and the first revision to GDP. For the worldwide economy, inflation numbers for Japan and the EU are worth watching. Japan is doing all it can to wake its economy out of a two-decade deflationary spiral. Its measures seem to be working in the short term, but the government is adding to an already massive debt load which could wreak havoc down the road. In the European Union, inflation has been slowing to the point where officials are worried about deflation that would make it harder for Europe's economies to pay back their debt.

Buffett letter
The most interesting part of the day so far has been the early release of an excerpt of Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE: BRK-A  ) (NYSE: BRK-B  ) annual letter to shareholders, which can be found here. The main message is that investors should make investment decisions as if they were buying the whole business and not just a piece of paper. Buffett also urged them to buy for the long term in order to gain from the compound growth in the value of the business, ignoring short-term fluctuations in the price.

 

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