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U.S. Economy was Stronger than Believed in Q4

26 Feb. 2016

The economy wasn't as feeble as believed late last year as businesses throttled back stockpiling less than initially estimated.

The nation’s gross domestic product -- a measure of all the goods and services produced in the economy -- expanded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1% in the fourth quarter, above the 0.7% initially estimated, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Read full article from USAToday



Saudi Arabia Won't Cut Crude Output, Reaffirms Freeze Accord

23 Feb. 2016

Saudi Arabia said it won’t cut oil production because it doesn’t trust other countries to join in, insisting instead that high-cost producers ought to bear the burden of reducing the current surplus.

“We are not banking on cuts because” there is “less than trust” that “countries are going to deliver even if they promise,” Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said in Houston Tuesday.

The market will eventually rebalance because high-cost producers will have to “lower costs, borrow or liquidate” to cope with the slump in oil prices, Al-Naimi said, adding that he doesn’t know when the current price rout will end.

Read full article from Reuters



January Retail Sales in the U.S. Grow More than Expected

12 Feb. 2016

Consumers in the U.S. indulged in more retail sales than expected in January, a positive sign for retailers after a disappointing holiday season. Last month's sales climbed 0.2% to $449.9 billion from December. Analysts had predicted an increase of 0.1%.

Economists have been predicting for more than a year that falling gas prices and an improved job market would boost spending. But retail sales have lagged as many consumers opted to put the savings in the bank or use it to pay down debts.

Real full article from Los Angeles Times



What's Behind the Global Stock Market Selloff?

11 Feb. 2016

Global stock markets are on their shakiest footing in years. Investors are fleeing stocks and running to safe-havens like bonds and gold, driven by concerns about economic growth the effectiveness of central banks' policies.

At the same time, tumbling energy prices are upending the economies of oil-producing countries, further slicing into global economic growth. In addition to the fall in U.S. stock markets, major stock indexes worldwide have also been hit hard, despite efforts by the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank to spur growth through lower interest rates.

Read full article from Reuters



Wall Street Extends Losses in Broad Selloff

08 Feb. 2016

U.S. stocks added to losses in late Monday trading in a broad selloff that drove financial, tech, consumer and materials indexes down more than 3 percent amid persistent fears of a global slowdown. The Nasdaq led losses for a second straight session, weighed down by Facebook, Amazon and other stocks that had lent strength to the market last year.

Financial shares sank on worries over the U.S. economy and uncertainty whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise rates this year. The S&P financial index was down 3.5 percent and is off about 15 percent for the year, the worst-performing of the 10 major S&P sectors. The losses followed a similar drop in European bank shares.

Read full article from Street Insider