The Stock Market Game is a curriculum-based teaching tool that allows students to invest a hypothetical $100,000 online stock portfolio to learn about long-term saving and investing.

Finally! Good news moved the Dow and the S&P 500 upward as of Friday's close, as bulls managed to break away from the bears this week with the banks leading the way. Both Citigroup ( C) and Bank of America ( BAC) announced a return to profitability. Plus, indications from Washington that some kind of easing in mark-to-market accounting is in the offing had bank stockholders cheering. The Street also reacted positively Friday to the retail sales numbers, which rose 0.7% excluding autos.

So what should Stock Market Game students be looking at right now? Does this bullish week mean they should get in and buy more stock? Should they sell? As with almost everything in the financial world, it depends. Students that bought banks very low may be tempted to take profits, but they could be giving up further upside potential if more positive stories come out of the financials. Cyclical stocks like retailers may start to see more love from investors, but then again, more bad economic news could crush last week's gains. It's a tricky time and one that calls for a tried and true investing skill: research.

In the Teacher Support Center, SMG offers a lesson entitled "Buy, Sell, or Hold." It encourages students to do fundamental research on companies, review annual reports as well as analyst ratings. Investment decisions should always be informed, and gathering as much information as possible about a company before you buy or sell is part of a prudent long-term investment strategy.

More conservative student investors should take a look at bonds and mutual funds, which are important components of any well-diversified portfolio. Lessons to help your students understand these two different asset classes are also available in the Teacher Support Center. All SMG lessons include a detailed "Teacher Background" section to help you teach the lessons and we also offer projects, publications and assessments.

Finally, let's hope the bulls keep running next week and that we've found a bottom to this scary bear market. (Don't miss " Coming Week: Keeping the Streak Alive")

To learn more about The Stock Market Game, visit www.stockmarketgame.org.

RealMoney Barometer Poll
1 What would best describe your stance heading into the coming week of trading?
Bullish
Bearish
Neutral
2 Which of these sectors do you think is set to move up in the coming week?
3 Which of these sectors do you think is set to move down in the coming week?

View the results without voting

This article was written by a staff member of The Stock Market Game.

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