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By Jason Stipp | 04-29-2011 02:00 PM

Five Things That Spoke to Us

Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser highlights key takeaways this week from Bernanke, Berkshire, consumer firms, and more.

Jason Stipp: I'm Jason Stipp for Morningstar, and welcome to the Friday Five.

Now, there is always a lot of noise in the market, but this week, we've got some actions and words that really spoke volumes.

Here with me to offer the details is Morningstar markets editor, Jeremy Glaser.

Jeremy, thanks for joining me.

Jeremy Glaser: You're welcome, Jason. I'm always happy to try to cut through the noise a little bit.

Stipp: So, what do you have for the Friday Five this week?

Glaser: Well, this week, we heard from Ben Bernanke, from Warren Buffett, from small-cap stocks, Exelon, and finally we heard from a couple of companies that might see some price hike soon.

Stipp: So, Wednesday there was a press conference from the Fed. It's something that we haven't really seen before. What did you learn from listening to Bernanke's words?

Glaser: It certainly was unusual to hear from Chairman Bernanke in a venue other than when he is being questioned by Congress or when he is giving a speech and not taking questions. Members of the press were allowed to actually ask him anything that they wanted about the Fed's policies. We didn't really learn that much new about the current policy. We found that Quantitative Easing is going to continue much the way that we thought it was going to, that rates are not going up anytime soon, that employment is still a big issue, that inflation isn't a big issue in the eyes of the Fed right now.

But certainly, I think it was interesting that they've started doing these press conferences. I think it shows that the Federal Reserve is very concerned about how they are going to communicate the tightening when we finally get there. I think they want to set the precedent that this how these press conferences are going to work. These are the kind of questions, and how we're going to answer them, and the format, so that when a few quarters down the road, or maybe many quarters down the road, when rates are going to go up or when there is going to be other tightening, people won't be freaked out by the special announcements from the Fed. We are so used to having the same thing quarter after quarter, month after month, meeting after meeting--I think that this was a way to set the ground. I think that speaks volumes more than what was actually said at that particular conference.

Stipp: So, for number two, Jeremy, we are going to hear a lot from Warren Buffett this weekend at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting, but even ahead of that meeting, we heard from Berkshire this week. What did that say to you?

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