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ECONOMY Lack of inflation spurs market



Published: Mon, February 7, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



NEW YORK (AP) -- Wall Street may have found the nirvana it has long craved: economic middle ground.

Worries about inflation pushed stocks substantially lower in January, spurred by comments in the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee meeting minutes in which some Fed members expressed concerns about the possibility of higher prices.

But last week, economic data pointed to slowing economic growth, and Friday's jobs report showed fewer jobs created in January than expected. But the economy is still growing, and jobs are still being created. And businesses find that consumers are still finicky enough that raising prices is not an option.

So the equation of modest economic growth, small gains in jobs and corporate America's lack of pricing power all equals out to a lack of inflation. And for investors, that could be enough to put Wall Street's January slump behind them.




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