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Economic Update for March 3, 2014
Highlights of news-making events of the past week, from the economy and profits to Europe and interest rates.
The BEA revised fourth-quarter 2013 GDP to 2.4% from an advance estimate of 3.2%. The Commerce Dept. reported new home sales rose 9.6% and orders for durable goods, including transportation, fell 1.0% in January. In the fourth quarter, home prices rose year-over-year, S&P/Case Shiller found. The Markit/JMMA Japan Manufacturing PMI showed growth in February.
Initial jobless claims rose by 14,000 to 348,000 in the week ended February 22, 2014, according to the Labor Department. The four-week moving average was 338,250.
Of the 440 S&P 500 Index companies reporting fourth-quarter earnings as of February 20, 2014, 285 — or 64.7% — beat analysts' estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index fell to 78.1 in February from 79.4 in January. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading of consumer sentiment rose to 81.6 in February from 81.2 in January. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to -28.6 in the week ended February 23, 2014, from -30.6 in the prior week.
Eurostat noted that euro area inflation was expected to be 0.8% in February, unchanged from January. The unemployment rate was stable at 12.0% in January, Eurostat found. The European Commission found the Business Climate Indicator for the euro area rose slightly in February. The Ifo Business Climate Index and the GfK Consumer Climate report for Germany both rose in February.
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell.
- Interest-rate volatility as the Fed tapers quantitative easing policies
All economic and performance information is historical and does not guarantee future results. The views and opinions expressed are those of Putnam Investments, are subject to change with market conditions, and are not meant as investment advice.
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