ECONOMIC CALENDAR:Monday: Existing Home Sales, Dallas Fed Mfg. Survey Tuesday: S&P Case-Shiller HPI, Consumer Confidence, Janet Yellen Speaks 10:00 AM ET Wednesday: New Home Sales, Janet Yellen Speaks 10:00 AM ET Thursday: Consumer Price Index, Durable Goods Orders, Jobless Claims Friday: GDP, Chicago PMI, Consumer Sentiment, Pending Home Sales Index
Quote of the week:
“Faith in your own powers and confidence in your individual methods are essential to success.” – Roderick Stevens
- Weekly jobless claims fall more than forecast. After some seasonal disruptions, weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell to 283,000 in the latest sign of an improving job market. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell to its lowest level in 15 weeks.
- U.S. home construction falls in January. Groundbreaking on new homes dropped 2.0% last month as builders slowed down construction of new single-family homes. However, building activity is still moving faster than it did a year ago.
- U.S. loosens trade restrictions against Cuba. The federal government announced plans to allow small Cuban businesses to export goods to the U.S. Though there are restrictions on what can be imported, the move represents an important change in relations with the communist country.
- U.S. factory activity rises. The manufacturing sector, a significant contributor to economic growth, expanded in February at its fastest pace since November. This is good news after the cold-weather related slowdowns of early 2014.