ECONOMIC CALENDAR:Tuesday: JOLTS Wednesday: EIA Petroleum Status Report, Treasury Budget Thursday: Jobless Claims, Retail Sales, Business Inventories Friday: Import and Export Prices, Consumer Sentiment
Quote of the week:
“When you determine what you want, you have made the most important decision of your life. You have to know what you want in order to attain it.” – Douglas Lurton
- Q4 earnings reports show revenue weakness. Though overall earnings are positive, U.S. firms are still struggling with weak demand. Including reports from 274 S&P 500 companies, overall earnings are up an optimistic 6.7% from Q4 2013; however, revenues are up just 0.2%.
- U.S. motor vehicle sales catch fire in January. U.S. automakers reported the strongest January car and truck sales in seven years. Ford and GM had strong months, showing that sales increased 15% and 18%, respectively, over last year.
- U.S. productivity falls in Q4 2014. Hourly output per worker, a measure of the productivity of the U.S. economy, fell 1.8% in the final three months of 2014. This could mean that employers have eked out every drop of labor from their workers (and may be forced to raise wages).
- Brent crude has best gains in 17 years. Oil rallied again and showed the best two-week performance since 1998, gaining 19%. Price volatility was stoked by falling oil production and violence in Libya.