RETAILERS RECEIVE A MAJOR BOOST

Higher payroll taxes don’t seem to have hurt shopping or driving: the Commerce Department noted a 1.1% improvement in retail sales for February. As gas station receipts increased 5.0% and auto sales 1.1% last month, there was also a 0.4% gain in core retail sales and a 0.5% rise in department store and discount store sales.1

NO SURPRISE: HIGHER GAS PRICES PROMPT CPI GAIN

February’s 0.7% gain in the Consumer Price Index was heavily influenced by the rising cost of fuel – minus food and energy costs, the core CPI rose just 0.2%. The Labor Department also reported a 0.7% rise in the Producer Price Index last month, compared with 0.2% for January.2,3

MORTGAGE RATES HIT A 7-MONTH PEAK

In its March 14 national survey, Freddie Mac estimated the average interest rate on a conventional 30-year home loan at 3.63% (the highest since August). Average rates for 15-year fixed mortgages were at 2.79%.4

HOUSEHOLD CONFIDENCE FLAGS

The University of Michigan’s preliminary March survey of consumer sentiment fell to 71.8, down 5.8 points from its final February mark. This was the lowest reading since December 2011.2

DOW LOGS FOURTH STRAIGHT WEEKLY ADVANCE

The DJIA rose 0.81% from March 11-15, settling Friday at 14,514.11. (A down Friday broke a 10-day winning streak for the index.) The S&P 500 (+0.61% to 1,560.70) posted its third straight weekly gain, as did the NASDAQ (+0.14% to 3,249.07). Gold settled Friday at $1,591.30 on the COMEX, oil at $93.58 on the NYMEX.5,6

THIS WEEK: The March NAHB housing market index appears Monday. Tuesday brings earnings from Adobe and DSW and data on February housing starts and building permits. The Federal Reserve concludes its March policy meeting Wednesday; also, quarterly results arrive from FedEx, Oracle and General Mills. Lululemon, Ross Stores, and Nike announce earnings on Thursday, which is also when NAR notes February existing home sales; the Conference Board’s February index of leading indicators and the FHFA housing price index for January also appear. Friday brings earnings from Darden Restaurants, Tiffany and KBHome.

% CHANGE

Y-T-D

1-YR CHG

5-YR AVG

10-YR AVG

DJIA

+10.76

+9.52

+4.29

+8.47

NASDAQ

+7.60

+6.30

+9.37

+14.25

S&P 500

+9.43

+11.27

+4.23

+8.73

REAL YIELD

3/15 RATE

1 YR AGO

5 YRS AGO

10 YRS AGO

10 YR TIPS

-0.55%

-0.08%

1.01%

1.89%

Sources: cnbc.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 3/15/135,7,8,9

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly.

These returns do not include dividends.


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Disclosure
This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. Marketing Library.Net Inc. is not affiliated with any broker or brokerage firm that may be providing this information to you. 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. 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 information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. 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.
Citations.1 – www.csmonitor.com/Business/2013/0313/Retail-sales-rise.-Shoppers-unfazed-by-payroll-tax-hike [3/13/13]
2 – www.nytimes.com/2013/03/16/business/economy/consumer-inflation-jumps.html [3/15/13]
3 – www.nasdaq.com/article/stock-market-news-for-march-15-2013-market-news-cm227573#.UUOIDVdXqXk [3/15/13]
4 – www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/03/14/30-year-fixed-mortgage-rates/1987243/ [3/14/13]
5 – www.cnbc.com/id/100557676 [3/15/13]
6 – online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/mdc_commodities.html [3/15/13]
7 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F15%2F12&x=0&y=0 [3/15/13]
7 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F15%2F12&x=0&y=0 [3/15/13]
7 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F15%2F12&x=0&y=0 [3/15/13]
7 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F14%2F08&x=0&y=0 [3/15/13]
7 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F14%2F08&x=0&y=0 [3/15/13]
7 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F14%2F08&x=0&y=0 [3/15/13]
7 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F14%2F03&x=0&y=0 [3/15/13]
7 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F14%2F03&x=0&y=0 [3/15/13]
7 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F14%2F03&x=0&y=0 [3/15/13]
8 – www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [3/15/13]
9 – www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [3/15/13]

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