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Economic Update 07/28/14

By Robert Pagliarini on July 28, 2014

YEARLY INFLATION AT 2.1% In June, the headline Consumer Price Index recorded annualized inflation at that level for a second consecutive month. Back in February, yearly consumer inflation was down at 1.1%. June saw the CPI rise 0.3% and the core CPI (minus food and energy prices) advance 0.1%; core CPI was up 1.9% year-over-year.…

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Economic Update 07/21/14

By Robert Pagliarini on July 22, 2014

STOCKS ADVANCE, EVEN WITH ANXIETIES The crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine, a ground offensive by Israel into Gaza: these headlines gave investors pause, but M&A action and earnings reports sent stocks higher for the week. Thursday, the CBOE VIX jumped 32% to settle at 14.54, yet the S&P 500 closed just 1.2%…

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Economic Update 07/14/14

By Robert Pagliarini on July 14, 2014

FED PLANS TO STOP EASING THIS FALL June’s Federal Reserve policy meeting minutes outlined the central bank’s exit plan from QE3. The Fed will continue tapering its monthly asset purchases in a series of $10 billion cuts, then make a last $15 billion cut in late October. The June minutes offered no hint of change…

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Economic Update 07/07/14

By Robert Pagliarini on July 7, 2014

DOW TOPS 17,000 AFTER TERRIFIC JOBS REPORT America’s jobless rate is fast approaching the Federal Reserve’s 6% target. Thanks to employers adding 288,000 new hires, unemployment dropped 0.2% to 6.1% in June. The U-6 rate (unemployed + underemployed) declined to 12.1%, a low unseen since October 2008; from June 2013 to June 2014, the number…

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Economic Update 06/30/14

By Robert Pagliarini on June 30, 2014

A LITTLE MORE CONFIDENCE IN THE ECONOMY The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose 3.0 points for June to 85.2, exceeding the 84.0 consensus forecast of analysts polled by Briefing.com. Those analysts thought the University of Michigan’s final June consumer sentiment index would come in at 81.7; it climbed to 82.5 instead. In related news,…

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Economic Update 06/23/14

By Robert Pagliarini on June 23, 2014

INFLATION PICKS UP The Consumer Price Index increased 0.4% in May – the biggest monthly rise in over a year, with food prices up 0.5%. Labor Department data showed the core CPI (minus energy and food prices) up 0.3% for May; that was its largest monthly advance since August 2011. All this put the annualized…

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Economic Update 06/16/14

By Robert Pagliarini on June 16, 2014

UNREST IN IRAQ SENDS OIL TOWARD $107 NYMEX crude settled at $106.91 Friday, up 4.1% for the week in reaction to the Sunni-led ISIS militant movement seizing control of Mosul and other cities in northern and eastern Iraq. It was oil’s biggest weekly spike since December. While the price of unleaded gasoline fell a cent…

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Economic Update 6/09/14

By Robert Pagliarini on June 10, 2014

HIRING CORRESPONDS TO EXPECTATIONS Employers added 217,000 new jobs in May, just 1,000 less than analysts polled by Reuters had forecast. Over the past year, payrolls have expanded by average of 197,000 new hires a month. The jobless rate remained at 6.3% in May, but the U-6 rate (the unemployed + the underemployed) sank to…

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Economic Update 06/02/2014

By Robert Pagliarini on June 2, 2014

HOW OPTIMISTIC ARE CONSUMERS? No firm conclusion can be drawn from May’s major consumer economic polls. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose 1.3 points to 83.0. That was its second-best reading in the past six years. The University of Michigan’s final May consumer sentiment index dipped to 81.9 from April’s reading of 84.1. Fresh…

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Economic Update 05/19/14

By Robert Pagliarini on May 19, 2014

IS THE PRODUCER PRICE INDEX SENDING A MESSAGE? Wholesale prices climbed 0.6% in April according to Labor Department data. That tripled the increase projected by economists polled by MarketWatch, and it took the annual advance in the PPI to 2.1%, a two-year peak. The PPI also pushed north 0.5% in March, so higher consumer prices…

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