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Look Forward, Not Back: Coming Week

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The year-ago collapse of Lehman Brothers will dominate the news during the coming week, but market observers say it is critical for investors to look past those headlines and maintain focus on the here and now.

A handful of data is set to shine a light on retail sales, inflation and manufacturing activity. This will be a lot more useful for investors than rehashing what's happened over the past year.

"[The Lehman coverage] fills the dead air on television. That's all it is," says Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist with Banyan Partners. "Is it really impacting us now? It's having ramifications, definitely. But it's business history. Let's get a grip. What's done is done."

Forgetting about the events from a year ago may be hard, but retail investors may be missing the point: Things have gotten better, Pavlik says.

"You can't fault them for that as they're looking at their portfolio from October 2007 until now," he says. "But they're not looking at how the economy has improved. It's still a relatively fragile state of repair that we're in, but we are in repair. That message has to get out to people a little bit more."

Investors should instead keep a sharp focus on the economic data over the next five sessions, analysts say, even if it appears as though the stock market is not paying attention to fundamental data as it keeps ramping higher.

"The market is climbing a wall of worry," Ralph Fogel, co-chief investment officer with Fogel Neale Partners, asserts. "We keep hearing about foreclosures, the risks to the economy and mounting credit card debt. No one is saying anything positive. The market must be projecting something people don't see in the future. We keep seeing lower lows and higher highs."
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