Weekly Economic Update 2/29/2016

Weekly Economic Update 2/29/2016

GOOD NEWS ABOUT CONSUMER SPENDING, Q4 GDP

Personal spending and personal wages both increased 0.5% in January, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The BEA also revised Q4 growth up to 1.0% from its initial estimate of 0.7%. As a footnote to all this, capital goods orders jumped 4.9% in January. (1)

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE WANES
The Conference Board’s much-watched monthly index tumbled 5.6 points in February to a 7-month low of 92.2. Rather than a significant monthly fall, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index took only a small one: it declined 0.3 points from its final January mark to a final February reading of 91.7. (1,2)

HOME PRICES, EXISTING HOME SALES ADVANCE
Despite severe weather in many parts of the nation, existing home sales rose 0.4% in January, the National Association of Realtors announced. The Census Bureau reported a 9.2% fall for new home sales in January, countering an 8.2% ascent in December. The December edition of the 20-city S&P/Case-Shiller home price index showed no monthly advance, but the index rose 5.7% in 2015. (1)

SOLID GAINS FOR THE MAJOR INDICES
During the past five trading days, investors saw the S&P 500 rise 1.58% to 1,948.05. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite mirrored that weekly gain, improving 1.51% and 1.91%, respectively, on the way to Friday closes of 16,639.97 and 4,590.47. Like stocks, oil advanced for a second straight week, rising 3.2% in five days and settling at $32.78 on the NYMEX Friday. (3,4)

THIS WEEK: Monday offers NAR’s latest pending home sales index and earnings from Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Global Partners, Hertz Global, Magellan Health, and Tribune Media. ISM’s January factory PMI and China’s latest manufacturing PMI appear Tuesday, plus earnings from AutoZone, Bob Evans, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dollar Tree, Progressive, and TiVo. Wednesday, investors assess the January ADP employment change report and a new Federal Reserve Beige Book, along with earnings announcements from Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, Costco, and Weibo. Wall Street looks at the January Challenger job-cut report, a new initial claims report, and ISM’s service sector PMI on Thursday, along with earnings from Barnes & Noble, Broadcom, Burlington Stores, Diamond Foods, H&R Block, Kroger Co., Planet Fitness, Smith & Wesson, and Wingstop. Friday, the Labor Department presents its January employment report, complementing Q4 results from Big Lots and Staples.

WEEKLY QUOTE

“We are made to persist. That’s how we find out who we are.”
– Tobias Wolff

WEEKLY TIP
Once a year, you should look at your insurance policies (life, disability, any others) to see if your coverage has any weak spots.

WEEKLY RIDDLE
I go back and forth constantly, but I never go forward. What am I?

Last week’s riddle:
Everywhere on earth I am found, I should not make you frown, I will always bring you down, but I will never send you up. What am I?

Last week’s answer:
Gravity.
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This material was prepared by MarketingPro, 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.

Citations.
1 – tradingeconomics.com/united-states/calendar [2/26/16]
2 – tinyurl.com/zc93as5 [2/26/16]
3 – markets.on.nytimes.com/research/markets/usmarkets/usmarkets.asp [2/26/16]
4 – marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-remain-under-pressure-as-traders-stick-to-bearish-mood-2016-02-26/ [2/26/16]
5 – markets.wsj.com/us [2/26/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=2%2F26%2F15&x=0&y=0 [2/26/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=2%2F26%2F15&x=0&y=0 [2/26/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=2%2F26%2F15&x=0&y=0 [2/26/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=2%2F25%2F11&x=0&y=0 [2/26/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=2%2F25%2F11&x=0&y=0 [2/26/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=2%2F25%2F11&x=0&y=0 [2/26/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=2%2F27%2F06&x=0&y=0 [2/26/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=2%2F27%2F06&x=0&y=0 [2/26/16]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=2%2F27%2F06&x=0&y=0 [2/26/16]
7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [2/26/16]
8 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [2/26/16]

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