The market (S&P 500) is up around 20% in the last 4 months. Can we expect more of the same? Many analysts use the first month of the new year as a gauge of how the year will look. So far the year looks good, but what is propping the market up? Lately it has been the relatively good news coming out of Europe even though in reality they still have not solved the problems. The European Central Bank seems to be keeping the banks liquid which is a major help. Even on the economic side there is a mixed bag of information. Greece is still negotiating a debt swap deal and they have very little time before some big debts become due. We can only watch from the sidelines and hope a deal can be brokered.Our country has its own set of problems. Lawmakers must lift the debt ceiling so we can pay our bills. Will the Fed start QE3 soon as many are predicting, will our economy pick up, what about inflation / deflation? This week the Fed will give us their prediction of where interest rates are going and their target for inflation. By setting a target for inflation it may serve as a placebo for the market and allow them to buy more bonds without causing alarm.