Weekly Economic Update March 30, 2015


“Look at all the sentences which seem true and question them.”

     – David Reisman


Own a business? Negotiating with vendors may help you save a few hundred dollars in monthly operating costs. It doesn’t hurt to try it; any vendor would prefer a satisfied customer over a search for a new one.


A man bet his neighbor that his dog could jump higher than his neighbor’s hedge. The neighbor accepted the bet and lost. Why?


Last week’s riddle:

Its body of stone shields a fiery heart. Under sufficient pressure, its head will depart. What is it?

Last week’s answer:

A volcano.



Existing home sales accelerated 1.2% to an annual pace of 4.88 million in February, the National Association of Realtors announced. Sales had slowed markedly in January. February also brought a big jump in new home buying – a 7.8% increase according to the Census Bureau, taking the year-over-year gain to 24.8%.1,2



The 0.2% gain represented the first monthly rise in consumer prices since October; a 2.4% increase in gasoline prices made a demonstrable difference. Even so, this left the headline CPI flat year-over-year. The core CPI rose 0.2% in February, taking its annualized gain to 1.7%.3



At a mark of 93.0, March’s final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index declined 2.4 points from its final February reading. It has still improved vastly in the past year – last March, it was at 80.0.4


FINAL Q4 GDP: 2.2%

The third estimate of fourth-quarter growth by the Bureau of Economic Analysis was unchanged from the second; economists polled by Briefing.com expected an upward revision to 2.4%. Last week also brought news of a 1.4% slip in hard goods orders; even minus transportation orders, durables still declined 0.4%.2



Pessimism about the oncoming earnings season contributed to market choppiness and weekly losses for the big three. Across March 23-27, the Dow fell 2.29%, the Nasdaq 2.69% and the S&P 500 2.23%. Friday, the Dow settled at 17,712.66, the Nasdaq at 4,891.22 and the S&P at 2,061.02.5


THIS WEEK: Monday, the Commerce Department releases February personal spending numbers and the NAR issues February pending home sales data. The January S&P/Case-Shiller home price index and the Conference Board’s March consumer confidence survey arrive Tuesday. On Wednesday, ISM’s March factory PMI and ADP’s March employment report appear and Monsanto announces earnings. Thursday brings the March Challenger job-cut report, new initial claims totals, February factory orders data and earnings from CarMax and Perry Ellis. On Friday, the Labor Department presents its March jobs report and Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen speaks briefly at a Fed research conference.


DJIA -0.62 +8.91 +12.65 +6.89
NASDAQ +3.28 +17.83 +20.84 +14.55
S&P 500 +0.10 +11.46 +15.33 +7.55
10 YR TIPS 0.19% 0.56% 1.62% 1.94%


Sources: online.wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 3/27/155,6,7,8
Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.


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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.

1 – housingwire.com/articles/33325-new-home-sales-rebound-25-in-february [3/24/15]
2 – briefing.com/investor/calendars/economic/2015/03/23-27 [3/27/15]
3- nytimes.com/2015/03/25/business/rising-gas-costs-help-lift-us-consumer-prices.html [3/25/15]
4 – tinyurl.com/o9am74a [3/27/15]
5 – tinyurl.com/onrf6g7 [3/27/15]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F27%2F14&x=0&y=0 [3/27/15]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F27%2F14&x=0&y=0 [3/27/15]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F27%2F14&x=0&y=0 [3/27/15]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F26%2F10&x=0&y=0 [3/27/15]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F26%2F10&x=0&y=0 [3/27/15]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F26%2F10&x=0&y=0 [3/27/15]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F28%2F05&x=0&y=0 [3/27/15]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F28%2F05&x=0&y=0 [3/27/15]
6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F28%2F05&x=0&y=0 [3/27/15]
7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [3/27/15]
8 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [3/27/15]

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