Salient to Investors:

Brad Sorensen at Charles Schwab said the economic numbers are holding up really well, and housing rebounding will continue, feeding into consumer confidence.

74 percent of S&P 500 companies so far reporting quarterly results have beat estimates. The index is at 14.8 times reported earnings versus the average since 1954 of 16.4.

Jonathan Golub at UBS said retail sales are rising fast enough to dismiss the effects of tax-law changes and gas price increases on consumer spending. Golub says the general trend is healthy despite the end of a payroll-tax break, a delay in income-tax refunds and higher gas prices, and recommends makers of food, beverages and other staples, and companies most dependent on consumers’ discretionary spending.

David Bianco at Deutsche Bank reaffirmed underweight ratings on staples companies and retailers due to the continuing struggle of low to middle-income households to make ends meet.

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