Weekly Economic Update
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March 17, 2014
RETAIL SALES UP 0.3% IN FEBRUARY
Weather didn’t stop Americans from shopping last month. February’s headline gain in retail sales was the first in three months and represented a nice turnaround from the (revised) 0.6% drop measured by the Commerce Department for January. Minus car and truck buying, the February increase was still 0.3%. Sales at clothing and furniture retailers led the way, both improving 0.4% on the month.1
SENTIMENT COOLS AS WEATHER WARMS
The preliminary March reading for the University of Michigan’s monthly consumer sentiment index was just 79.9, a 4-month low. February’s final mark was 81.6, and analysts polled by MarketWatch forecast an initial March reading of 80.8.2,3
PRODUCER PRICES RETREAT, AGAINST EXPECTATIONS
After rising 0.2% for January, the Producer Price Index ticked down 0.1% in February; in a Bloomberg survey, economists projected a 0.2% increase. The core PPI (minus food and energy prices) dropped 0.2% last month. Over the past year, the headline PPI has risen just 0.9%.2,3
OVERSEAS HEADLINES HAMPER STOCKS
Would Crimeans vote to leave Ukraine and join Russia on March 16? To what degree was China’s economy cooling off? These questions preoccupied Wall Street last week, and the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all turned south. The 5-day performances: S&P, -1.97% to 1,841.13; Dow, -2.35% to 16,065.67; Nasdaq, -2.10% to 4,245.40.4,5
THIS WEEK: Monday morning, Wall Street will react to the outcome of the Crimean referendum; the March NAHB housing market index and the Federal Reserve’s report on February industrial output also arrive. Tuesday, investors will consider February’s CPI, data on February housing starts and building permits, and earnings from Oracle, Perry Ellis, Adobe and Hertz. Wednesday brings a Federal Reserve policy announcement (and the potential for further tapering of QE3); Guess, KB Home, FedEx and General Mills announce quarterly results. On Thursday, NAR issues February existing home sales figures, the Conference Board puts out its February leading indicator index, a new round of initial jobless claims data arrives, and Nike, ConAgra and Lennar present earnings. No major economic releases are scheduled for Friday.
Sources: USATODAY.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov - 3/14/145,6,7,8
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This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world's largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.
1 - reuters.com/article/2014/03/13/us-retail-sales-idUSBREA2C0YK20140313 [3/13/14]
2 - marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic [3/14/14]
3 - bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-14/wholesale-prices-in-u-s-unexpectedly-drop-on-cheaper-services.html [3/14/14]
4 - reuters.com/article/2014/03/14/markets-usa-stocks-idUSL2N0MB1ON20140314 [3/14/14]
5 - usatoday.com/money/markets/overview/ [3/14/14]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F14%2F13&x=0&y=0 [3/14/14]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F14%2F13&x=0&y=0 [3/14/14]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F14%2F13&x=0&y=0 [3/14/14]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F13%2F09&x=0&y=0 [3/14/14]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F13%2F09&x=0&y=0 [3/14/14]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F13%2F09&x=0&y=0 [3/14/14]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F15%2F04&x=0&y=0 [3/14/14]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F15%2F04&x=0&y=0 [3/14/14]
6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F15%2F04&x=0&y=0 [3/14/14]
7 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [3/14/14]
8 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [3/14/14]
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Weekly Economic Update