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Clarksville, TN – There was plenty of fresh economic data, but most of it was distorted by the weather (which can have different effects depending on which areas of the country get hit).
Nonfarm payrolls rose by 175,000 in the initial estimate for February (median forecast: +150,000, although market participants were likely braced for about +130,000). Figures for December and January were revised a net 25,000 higher.The unemployment rate edged back up to 6.7% (from 6.6% in January), but that likely reflected the usual statistical noise in the survey. Weather did have an impact on average weekly hour, which edged lower (and January was revised down). The ISM surveys for February were mixed. The Fed’s Beige Book noted some restraint from the weather.
The situation in Ukraine heated up, spooking U.S. stock market investors, but only briefly (as the market rallied back the next day). The bond market looked to the stock market for direction, but the better-than-expected jobs data pushed bond yields higher.
Next week, the economic calendar thins out. The report on retail sales is likely to be the highlight, although February is a throwaway month for most retailers and weather is likely to have had an impact in some areas. The newly expanded Producer Price Index (now with services) did not receive much fanfare last month.
Pipeline inflation pressures are expected to remain relatively mild. In a slow week for economic news, overseas developments have a somewhat greater potential to move the financial markets. By the end of the week, attention should turn ahead to the Fed’s policy meeting and Yellen’s press briefing.
Consumer Money Rates
Treasury Yield Curve – 3/7/2014
S&P Sector Performance (YTD) – 3/7/2014
US government bonds and treasury bills are guaranteed by the US government and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and guaranteed principal value. US government bonds are issued and guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by the federal government. Treasury bills are certificates reflecting short-term (less than one year) obligations of the US government.
Commodities trading is generally considered speculative because of the significant potential for investment loss. Markets for commodities are likely to be volatile and there may be sharp price fluctuations even during periods when prices overall are rising. Specific sector investing can be subject to different and greater risks than more diversified investments.
Tax Equiv Muni yields (TEY) assume a 35% tax rate on triple-A rated, tax-exempt insured revenue bonds.
The information contained herein has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Data source: Bloomberg, as of close of business March 6th, 2013.
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