ECONOMIC CALENDAR:Monday: Empire State Mfg. Survey, Industrial Production, Housing Market Index, Treasury International Capital Tuesday: Housing Starts Wednesday: EIA Petroleum Status Report, FOMC Meeting Announcement, Chair Press Conference, FOMC Forecasts Thursday: Jobless Claims, Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey
Quote of the week:
“The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity, and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%.” – Andrew Carnegie
- Retail sales fall in February. U.S. retail sales dropped for a third straight month, surprising many analysts who counted on job growth and cheap gasoline to boost sales. Harsh winter weather may be keeping shoppers at home, depressing retail spending numbers.
- Weekly jobless claims drop more than expected. The number of Americans claiming new unemployment benefits fell last week, erasing much of the previous weeks’ increases. Economists suspect seasonal factors are at play and that the labor market continues to improve.
- Consumer sentiment slides for fourth straight month. American consumers ratcheted back their optimism about the U.S. economy in early March, though temporary factors may be affecting data. While affluent Americans remain confident about the future, lower and middle-income consumers are worried about their prospects.
- Weekly mortgage applications drop. A sharp increase in mortgage rates last week caused a corresponding drop in mortgage applications. Both mortgage applications and refinancing activity fell as buyers responded to higher rates.