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After last week’s roller coaster down that ended up in the basement, this week was a bit more pleasing for investors. Stocks were still jumpy, but they managed to move higher on almost all trading days. Driving those gains were numerous positive factors.

To start with, data released during the week was much better than expected. Measures of housing, unemployment and manufacturing all managed to surprise higher this week. That’s in sharp contrast to the recent weeks data points.

Also helping was the lack of earnings reports. Earnings season is pretty much over now and the firms that did report, for the most part, announced better than expected numbers. While many guidance figures still stunk, it’s almost as if Wall Street expected the poor outlooks and brushed off the noise.

All in all, the positive numbers helped push stocks higher for much of the week.

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