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Financial News for the Week Ending March 8th

All the news you need to stay informed about what’s currently driving the market – courtesy of Raffa Wealth Management, LLC.

US stocks ended the first week of March at another record high on the five year anniversary of the market bottom in March 2009.  After starting off down for the week on worries over the Ukraine situation, markets climbed higher as tensions eased and on some positive economic news.  The Dow climbed 0.8% while the S&P 500 gained 1.0% for the week.  Internationally, Europe sank 1.5% and Japan rose 2.9%.  Bonds fell over the week on rising interest rates as the 10 year Treasury yield rose to 2.79%. 

The February jobs report showed a pickup in hiring despite severe winter weather and soothing fears of slowing growth into the spring.  The US added 175,000 jobs in February while the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.7% as more workers joined the workforce.  In addition the labor department increased its estimates of hiring in January and December by a combined 25K jobs.  Article

US consumer spending rose 0.4% in January driven by spending in utilities and healthcare.

US factories increased output in February. 

Euro zone business activity reached a three month high in February and retail sales rose to 1.6% in January.  Article

After it’s most recent meeting the ECB took no new actions showing confidence in the European recovery.

Berkshire Hathaway posted a record $19.5 billion profit in 2013 driven by the improving US economy.  Article

Forty two companies have gone public in the first two months of the year, the most since 2000, as companies rush to take advantage of the fertile stock market. 

Private Equity firm Cerberus reached a deal to purchase Safeway for $9 billion. 


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