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Financial and Economic Brief - May 23, 2017
• U.S. Stocks Rise - The Dow Jones industrial average rose about 100 points, the S&P 500 rose 0.4%, and the Nasdaq composite grew half a percent.
• Changing Leadership at Ford Motors - Ford Motors fired CEO Mark Fields because of the company’s falling stock price, down 37% since July 2014, and uncertainty about the future.
• Import Taxes on Sugar - China recently announced that it will impose “hefty penalties” on sugar imports.
Financial and Economic Brief - May 16, 2017
• NY Manufacturing Drops in May - According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, manufacturing in New York State dropped for the first time in seven months to minus 1 in May, from 5.2 in April (a reading below zero is an indication of contraction).
• Energy Ministers Agree to Extend Cuts - The energy ministers of Saudi Arabia (OPEC) and Russia (non-OPEC) recently met and agreed to do “whatever it takes to achieve the desired goal of stabilizing the market.”
• U.S. China Beef Deal - President Trump and his trade team took steps to clear two trade disputes with China that have negatively affected the U.S. livestock business for years.
Financial and Economic Brief - May 9, 2017
• Interest Rate Hikes “On Track” - Cleveland Federal Reserve President, Loretta Mester, said that the U.S. Federal Reserve has met its employment goal (unemployment was 4.4% in April) and has almost reached its inflation goal (2%), despite some recent “weak” economic data, so it should continue raising interest rates.
• Sinclair Acquires Tribune Media Co. - The largest U.S. broadcaster, Sinclair Broadcast Group, is set to acquire Tribune Media Co., in an almost $4 billion deal.
• S&P 500 and Nasdaq Down - Monday the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite fell after reaching record highs.
Financial and Economic Brief - May 2, 2017
• Sustained 3% Growth Not Likely - According to former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the U.S. economy is doing well but may not meet the ambitious growth expectations of President Donald Trump.
• Factory Growth Slows, Inflation Measure Drops - Ahead of the Fed’s policy meeting this week, several “weak” reports came in: U.S. factory activity slowed in April to a reading of 54.8, consumer spending was flat in March and a key inflation measure dropped, but even with the slower growth economists still expect an interest rate increase in June.
• U.K. Growth Falls to 0.3% - According to the Office of National Statistics, there was slower growth in the U.K. in Q1 because of weaker retail sales and lower spending on key consumer items.
Financial and Economic Brief - Apr. 25, 2017
• U.S. Gas Prices Rise - According to the Lundberg Survey, the average price of a gallon of gas rose 3 cents in the past two weeks, to $2.46.
• Weak Q1 Growth Expected - New home sales were unusually strong in January and February, but such gains typically mean an “offsetting retreat” lies ahead.
• Wall Street Rises after French First Round - After the first round of the French election results came in, the Nasdaq hit a record high on Monday, with other indexes also rising.
Financial and Economic Brief - Apr. 18, 2017
• U.S. Producer Prices Fall - According to the Labor Department, U.S. producer prices fell in March 0.1% for the first time since August.
• U.S. Dollar Drops - The U.S. dollar dropped 0.7%, after President Trump told the Wall Street Journal that the dollar is “getting too strong.”
• Wells Fargo Flat Q1 - Wells Fargo reported flat first-quarter profits amid larger costs and lower mortgage banking income as the bank continued to move beyond its issues over unauthorized customer accounts.