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The DOW and S&P closed up by half a percentage point each on Tuesday while the Nasdaq traded flat as concerns of slowing US growth during the fourth quarter of last year indicated a potential slowing growth rate for the first quarter of 2013, too. Reports also surfaced on Tuesday that consumer confidence dropped to its lowest level in over a year as consumers digested the fact that there's a little less spare cash available as the result of an increase in some tax rates this year. None of the above would justify any protracted broad market sell-off, in my opinion, but it emphasizes the fact that the consistent headlines of 'sunshine, rainbows and candy floss' that we've seen all year thus far are taking on a more cautionary and realistic tone, which will likely lead to some of the profit taking we discussed earlier in the week. That may lead to a near-term, but modest market decline.

On Wednesday attention will still be on the Fed meeting, which enters its second and final day. Early indications are that the key stimulus measures introduced after the crash of 2008 will remain in tact for the foreseeable future, or at least until a target unemployment rate of 6.5% is achieved, but other reports have also hinted that a divide in Washington is growing over how necessary it is to keep those measures in place, given the thus-far successful recovery and relative strength of the economy...

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