Monthly Archives: February 2016

Industrial Production Jumps, Pointing to Resilience in U.S. Economy

[02/17/16]  Industrial production in the United States had its largest gain in 14 months in January as manufacturing and utilities output increased, the latest sign that the economy regained some ground early in the year.

While other data on Wednesday showed a surprise decline in housing starts last month, that was probably because of bad weather, especially in the Northeast and Midwest. With building permits ahead of groundbreaking activity, home construction is likely to pick up in the months ahead.

The first increase in industrial output in five months should help allay the fears of...

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U.S. Labor Market on Solid Ground as Jobless Rate Hits Eight-year Low

[02/06/16]  U.S. employment gains slowed more than expected in January as the boost to hiring from unseasonably mild weather faded, but rising wages and an unemployment rate at an eight-year low suggested the labor market recovery remains firm. Non-farm payrolls increased by 151,000 jobs and the unemployment rate slipped one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.9 percent, the lowest since February 2008, the Labor Department said on Friday. The payrolls gain was a sharp step-down from the average 231,000 jobs per month during the fourth quarter. "The fact that payroll gains fell back to earth is not necessarily a bad sign. Most indications are that the job market...
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Nasdaq Hits 15-Month Low in Friday Freefall

[02/05/16]  Wall Street's short winning streak came to a brutal end Friday as a disappointing jobs report sent stocks skidding and the Nasdaq composite to its lowest level in more than 15 months. The Dow Jones industrial average, which had patched together two straight days of gains, was down 211.61 points, or 1.3%, to 16,204.97. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 was down 35.40 points, or 1.9%, to 1880.05. The real carnage was in the Nasdaq, which tumbled 146.41 points, or 3.3%. to 4363.14 -- its lowest close since Oct. 20, 2014. For the week, the Nasdaq posted a more than 5% loss. The Dow dropped about 1.6% and the S&P 500 tumbled 3.5%. The Nasdaq is now...
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U.S. Economy Barely Grew Last Quarter, Stoking Concerns About Momentum in 2016

[02/01/16]  The American economy finished the year on a flat note, much as it started 2015, stoking concern about its vulnerability in the months ahead to turmoil in China and elsewhere in the global economy.

But most economists expect activity to rebound as the year unfolds and continue to grind out steady but hardly spectacular growth.

Over all, the economy expanded at an annual rate of just 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, the Commerce Department said Friday.

It could have been worse: Ahead of the report, a few...

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