Growth Report for Monday, March 16, 2015

Retail sales were off again in February – the 0.6% decline reported by the Census Bureau was the third straight monthly retreat. Economists surveyed by anticipated an 0.4% advance. This severe winter may have prompted households to spend more on utilities and services than on retail purchases. Another closely watched indicator, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index, showed a preliminary March reading of 91.2. That was 4.2 points under its final February reading and 4.1 points below the expectations of economists polled by the Wall Street Journal. Less optimism among lower-income households influenced the decline.1,2

Both the overall and core Producer Price Index retreated half a percent for February. Even with low fuel and energy costs, economists polled by still projected a 0.3% rise in the headline PPI and an 0.1% advance for the core PPI. In January, the headline PPI fell 0.8%.2

Worries about a supply glut sent light sweet crude lower on the NYMEX. It settled at just $44.84 Friday, yet there was a nice development for oil investors: the Energy Department announced it would be buying up to 5 million barrels for its Strategic Petroleum Reserve. That could ease anxieties about excess inventory.3

A rollercoaster week ended with 5-day losses for all three major U.S. indices. The Dow shed 0.60%, the Nasdaq 1.13% and the S&P 500 0.86%. That resulted in the following Friday settlements: Dow, 17,749.31; Nasdaq, 4,871.76; S&P, 2,053.40.4

THIS WEEK: Monday, the Federal Reserve reports on February industrial output and Eastman Kodak and Molycorp announce Q4 results. Tuesday sees the release of February figures on building permits and housing starts and earnings from Oracle, Burlington Stores, Adobe Systems, Pacific Sunwear and DSW. Wednesday brings the latest Fed policy statement and earnings from Cintas, FedEx, Jabil Circuit, Guess?, Tilly’s, Smart & Final, General Mills, Wet Seal and Williams-Sonoma. The Conference Board presents its February index of leading indicators on Thursday, accompanying a new initial jobless claims report and quarterly results from Lennar and Nike. Darden Restaurants, Tiffany and KB Home report earnings Friday.

DJIA -0.41 +10.18 +13.41 +6.43
NASDAQ +2.87 +14.35 +21.15 +13.75
S&P 500 -0.27 +11.21 +15.71 +7.01
10 YR TIPS 0.44% 0.49% 1.45% 1.82%

Sources:,, – 3/13/155,6,7,8
Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.


“Silence is the ultimate weapon of power.”

– Charles de Gaulle


Are you in your fifties and providing eldercare to one or both of your parents? As you help them in their retirements, remember not to neglect your own retirement planning as these years of your life are among the most important for that effort.


I never complain no matter where I am led; I go around in circles, yet move straight ahead. What am I?

Last week’s riddle:
Buried in wood from one end to the other, my head is exposed while I keep things together. What am I?

Last week’s answer:
A nail.

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This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., for Mark Lund, The 401k Advisor, Investor Coach and author of The Effective Investor. Mark offers investment advisory services through Stonecreek Wealth Advisors, Inc. an independent, fee-only, Registered Investment Advisor firm providing 401k consulting for small businesses and financial Advisor services for professional athletes and individuals. Stonecreek is located in Salt Lake City, Murray, West Jordan, Sandy, Draper, South Jordan, Provo, Orem, Lehi, Highland, Alpine, American Fork all in Utah.