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Weekly Economic Updates

  • The US labor market continues to improve…

    The US labor market continues to improve. Employers added 236,000 nonfarm jobs in February, beating economists’ expectations by a long shot, with nearly every industry (except government) adding payrolls. Hourly wages expanded and outstripped inflation, rising 2.1% year-over-year compared to… Read More

  • Are the Days of Easy Money and Low Interest Rates Over?

    That’s the question many nervous investors are contemplating after the Federal Reserve hinted two weeks ago that it might end its quantitative easing (QE) policy sooner than analysts anticipated. Currently in its third round of QE since 2008, the Fed… Read More

  • Small business outlook on the economy…

    After a big dip in confidence last November, small business owners are increasingly optimistic about the US economic outlook, and many plan to accelerate hiring and spending during the next twelve months. Over one-third of some 800+ small business CEOs… Read More

  • The US government posted a $3 billion budget surplus in January.

    The US government posted a $3 billion budget surplus in January.  Yes, you read that right.  For the first time since 2008, the government collected more revenue than it spent.  Although this tiny monthly surplus does little to reverse the… Read More

  • After a weak holiday season, shoppers returned to stores….

    After a weak holiday season, shoppers returned to stores in January to take advantage of steep discounts. With the “fiscal cliff” averted, a rebounding housing market, and a stream of positive economic data that pushed the S&P 500 to a… Read More

  • Slow and steady

    Slow and steady. That’s our view of Friday’s payroll report, which showed that employers added 157,000 jobs in January, leaving the unemployment rate unchanged at 7.9%. Although this fell short of economists’ forecasts, the sharp upward revision in the number… Read More

  • The S&P 500 extended its gains last week…

    The S&P 500 extended its gains last week following a flurry of positive fourth quarter earnings reports and early signs that Europe’s economy may be on the mend. About one-third of firms comprising the S&P 500 index have announced results… Read More

  • The US economy continues to expand…

    The US economy continues to expand at a moderate pace, despite headwinds created by the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling debate in Washington.  US stocks finished slightly higher for the week after positive reports on housing and labor, both of… Read More

  • The S&P hit a five-year high last week….

    The S&P 500 hit a five-year high last week following news that Chinese exports surged 14% in December, exceeding economists’ estimates for a 4.6% increase.  The better-than-expected year-over-year growth is a positive sign for global trade and the Chinese economy. … Read More

  • American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

    Last week Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which averted the so-called “fiscal cliff” of immediate spending cuts and tax increases that threatened to send the US economy into a recession. Global markets rose sharply and investors… Read More