Geopolitical developments have been weighing on the markets over the last few weeks. The popular uprisings that have been taking place throughout the Middle East flared in Libya, the largest oil producer in Africa. Oil prices rose to their highest levels since 2008. Many worry that rising energy costs could undermine the fragile worldwide economic recovery. As a result, U.S. markets saw their first weekly losses in over a month. Furthermore, investor confidence slid to its lowest level since early September 2010. Remarkably, though, the bull-bear spread—the difference between bullish and bearish sentiment—has remained positive for 26 consecutive weeks.
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