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Economic Update 01/25/16

By Robert Pagliarini on January 26, 2016

OIL REBOUND DRIVES STOCKS HIGHER Thanks to frosty weather hitting the Northeast and a round of short covering, WTI crude settled at $32.19 on the NYMEX Friday – up 9% for the day and 9.4% for the week. Oil’s surge (and hopes of quantitative easing overseas) bolstered stocks: across four days, the Dow gained 0.66%…

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Economic Update 01/19/16

By Robert Pagliarini on January 19, 2016

LIGHT SWEET CRUDE SETTLES AT $29.42 Oil closed at its lowest level in more than 12 years Friday, plummeting 11.3% for the trading week on the NYMEX. Two factors contributed greatly to the rout: the Energy Information Administration’s forecast of the global crude glut lasting well into 2017 and the imminent expiration of sanctions against…

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Economic Update 01/11/16

By Robert Pagliarini on January 11, 2016

CAN STOCKS REGAIN THEIR FOOTING THIS WEEK? Investors hope so after a very rough start to 2016. Declining oil prices and disappointing manufacturing data in both the U.S. and China helped trigger a global selloff: the major equity indices in Europe and Asia fell between 5-9% last week with our benchmarks following suit. The Dow…

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Economic Update 01/04/2016

By Robert Pagliarini on January 5, 2016

HOUSEHOLDS MORE OPTIMISTIC AS 2016 APPROACHES In December, consumer confidence increased. The Conference Board’s respected index posted a reading of 96.5 in the last month of the year, 3.9 points above its revised November mark. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com expected a reading of just 93.5. PENDING HOME SALES INDEX FALLS The National Association of Realtors…

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Economic Update 12/28/15

By Robert Pagliarini on December 28, 2015

CONSUMER SPENDING IMPROVES 0.3% This November increase matched the forecast of economists polled by Briefing.com, and it was a nice change after a flat October reading (revised down from an initially reported 0.1% gain). Consumer incomes also rose 0.3% in November. HOUSEHOLD OPTIMISM INCREASES IN DECEMBER At mid-month, the preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment…

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Economic Update 12/21/15

By Robert Pagliarini on December 22, 2015

TIGHTENING BEGINS As anticipated, the Federal Reserve raised the benchmark interest rate by 0.25% last week. The Federal Open Market Committee voted 10-0 to make the move. Its latest dot-plot forecast projects four rate hikes during 2016, which would put the federal funds rate above 1% by the end of next year. The Fed also…

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Economic Update 12/14/15

By Robert Pagliarini on December 14, 2015

HOW LOW WILL OIL FUTURES GO? Did they hit bottom Friday afternoon, when WTI crude settled at $35.62 on the NYMEX? Maybe not, given the International Energy Agency’s new advisory that the oil glut may grow larger in 2016. Even Brent crude, the global benchmark, closed at $37.94 at the end of the week. Forecasts…

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Economic Update 12/07/15

By Robert Pagliarini on December 7, 2015

JOBS REPORT GIVES THE FED A GREEN LIGHT The economy created 211,000 jobs in November – a healthy hiring total that could prompt the Federal Reserve to tighten for the first time since 2006. Job growth has averaged 218,000 over the past three months (the Labor Department just revised October and November job gains upward…

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Economic Update 11/30/15

By Robert Pagliarini on December 1, 2015

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE TRENDS DOWN November saw the Conference Board consumer confidence index plummet. It dropped 8.7 points from its revised October mark of 99.1 to 90.4; economists polled by Briefing.com assumed it would rise slightly to 99.6. The CB attributed November’s poor reading (the lowest since September 2014) to declining expectations of job and wage…

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Economic Update 11/16/15

By Robert Pagliarini on November 17, 2015

RETAIL PURCHASES UP JUST 0.1% IN OCTOBER The tiny increase was actually an improvement, as retail sales were flat in both August and September. Gas station sales tailed off 0.9% in October, car sales 0.5%; offsetting those declines, online retail purchases were up 1.4% last month, spending at restaurants and bars up 0.5%. The Commerce…

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