Weekly Economic Update – Feb. 18, 2014


While the fourth quarter saw the strongest consumer spending in 3 years, the pace of retail purchases slowed last month. The Commerce Department reported a 0.4% drop in retail sales in January, and it revised December’s gain of 0.2% to a loss of 0.1%. Severe cold, reduced hiring and the end of long-term unemployment benefits were likely influences. There was one bit of reassurance in the Commerce Department’s report: minus auto buying, retail sales were actually flat last month.1


The University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index for February came in at 81.2, precisely where it had finished January. Analysts polled by Briefing.com had expected it to decline a full point.2


Bearish sentiment (and dissatisfying economic indicators) encouraged a rally in precious metals last week. Gold gained 4.4% on the COMEX in five days to settle at $1,318.60 Friday – a level unseen since Halloween. Silver futures climbed 7.5% on the week to $21.42, the best price since early November. Copper futures gained 0.6% last week, platinum futures 3.7% and palladium futures 4.1%.3 


Stocks really turned around last week, as these five-day index performances attest: DJIA, +2.45% to 16,154.39; NASDAQ, +2.83% to 4,244.02; S&P 500, +2.46% to 1,838.63.4

THIS WEEK: Monday is Presidents’ Day, so the NYSE and NASDAQ are closed as well as the U.S. bond market; Revlon and OfficeMax will announce Q4 results. Tuesday, earnings roll in from Blackrock, Medtronic, Panera, Coca-Cola, Del Monte, Waste Management and Herbalife, and the February NAHB housing market index arrives. On Wednesday, the minutes of the January Fed policy meeting will be released, along with the January PPI and data on January housing starts and building permits; HealthSouth, MGM, Safeway, Tesla Motors, Spirit Airlines, Marriott, Denny’s and Jack in the Box all issue earnings reports. Thursday brings the Conference Board’s January leading indicators index, the January CPI and earnings from BBVA, DirecTV, Hormel, Newmont Mining, Leap Wireless, Wal-Mart, Priceline, Hewlett-Packard, Intuit and Groupon. Existing home sales numbers for January are released Friday, along with earnings from Charter Communications and DISH Network.
















S&P 500






2/14 RATE









 Sources: USATODAY.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov - 2/14/145,6,7,8

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Futures and forward trading is speculative, includes a high degree of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors.

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (MCSI) is a survey of consumer confidence conducted by the University of Michigan. The MCSI uses telephone surveys to gather information on consumer expectations regarding the overall economy.

This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net 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.

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1 - bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-13/retail-sales-in-u-s-decreased-0-4-in-january-commerce-says.html [2/13/14]

2 - briefing.com/investor/calendars/economic/ [2/14/14]

3 - marketwatch.com/column/metals%20stocks [2/14/14]

4 - google.com/finance?q=INDEXDJX%3A.DJI%2CINDEXSP%3A.INX%2CINDEXNASDAQ%3A.IXIC&ei=h4n-UsD_FIe1iwLUMA [2/14/14]

5 - usatoday.com/money/markets/overview/ [2/14/14]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=2%2F14%2F12&x=0&y=0 [2/14/14]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=2%2F14%2F12&x=0&y=0 [2/14/14]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=2%2F14%2F13&x=0&y=0 [2/14/14]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=2%2F13%2F09&x=0&y=0 [2/14/14]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=2%2F13%2F09&x=0&y=0 [2/14/14]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=2%2F13%2F09&x=0&y=0 [2/14/14]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=2%2F13%2F04&x=0&y=0 [2/14/14]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=2%2F13%2F04&x=0&y=0 [2/14/14]

6 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=2%2F13%2F04&x=0&y=0 [2/14/14]

7 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [2/14/14]

8 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [2/14/14]

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