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Lancaster chamber speaker bullish for 2011

by thiryj

CPBJ reports: Investment expert Linda Duessel told Lancaster-area business leaders she is bullish on the stock market, at least in the short term.

Duessel, who is senior vice president, senior portfolio manager and market strategist at Pittsburgh-based Federated Investors Inc., spoke for the second consecutive year at the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Fulton Bank’s annual economic forecast breakfast. Organizers said the event had a record 600 people in attendance.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index could reach 1,400 or higher in the coming year, Duessel predicted. To support her position, she said earnings are on an upswing, unemployment will begin to fall, and that President George W. Bush’s 2001 tax cuts appear poised for an extension.

But Duessel also noted more troubling trends such as a largely jobless recovery, and said a serious financial reckoning will need to occur when the bull market subsides.

While reported confidence has soared among larger businesses, small businesses do not share in the enthusiasm and are not planning major hiring increases, Duessel said.

The economy will not be able to grow its way out of the doldrums, she said. Instead, she said spending cuts will need to occur, especially in entitlements such as Social Security and Medicaid, which were never intended to handle the amount of people now accessing them thanks to dramatically increased longevity.

Duessel slammed the federal health care overhaul as adding to the entitlement burden, and said the anticipated costs associated with the legislation remain the major obstacle to hiring among small businesses. A permanent tax cut is needed to restore small-business confidence, she said.

via Lancaster chamber speaker bullish for 2011.