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Back, Before The Average-Teabagger Could Read....

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Applications For U.C. Dip!!
April 10, 2014


"The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level in almost seven years, falling 32,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 300,000.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell 4,750 to 316,250.

Fewer Americans sought benefits last week than at any point since the Great Recession began at the end of 2007. Applications are at their lowest level since May of that year.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The decrease suggests that employers expect stronger economic growth in the coming months and are holding ONTO their workers."

 

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jobless-claims-near-a-7-year-low/

 

 

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"U.S. retail sales rose a strong 1.1% in March, Commerce Department data released Monday revealed, showing the economy is improving after the cold winter.

The firm report, which shows the largest gain for sales since September 2012, adds to the perception that the U.S. economy has taken a turn for the better. But it will take several months to know for sure whether this strong spending can be sustained.

Sales in March were led by pent-up demand in auto sales. But the gains were widespread, with only gasoline stations and electronics stores reporting declines.

Adding to the sense of strength was a sharp upward revision to February sales.

“The overall tone of this report was unambiguously constructive, underscoring that U.S. consumers are back in the game after the weather-induced slump in spending in earlier months,” said Millan Mulraine, economist at TD Securities.

The gain$ in retail sales in March were widespread. Particular strength came from sales at general merchandise stores, which had their biggest gain since March 2007."

 

 

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"A new ranking of the competitiveness of the world's top 25 exporting countries says the United States is once again a "rising star" of global manufacturing thanks to falling domestic natural gas prices, rising worker productivity and a lack of upward wage pressure."

 

 

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"U.S. consumer sentiment rose in April to a nine-month high as views on current and near-term conditions surged, a survey released on Friday showed.
 

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final April reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment came in at 84.1, beating an expectation of 83.0 in a Reuters survey and up from 80.0 the month before. The preliminary April reading was 82.6. The headline number was the highest reading since July 2013.

The survey's barometer of current economic conditions rose to 98.7, its highest reading since July 2007, from 95.7 in March and above a forecast of 97.2. The preliminary reading came in at 97.1."

 

 

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"As earnings season reaches the halfway mark, the focus is on whether profit growth is good enough to keep the market moving higher—or is it going to be another year to sell in May.

Citigroup chief U.S. equity strategist Tobias Levkovich said Ukraine is one of the many global risks hanging over stocks, but earnings are good enough to keep investors in the market this summer, and they will only get better.

"We've argued that the first half is going to be volatile…but we expect we'll do better in the second half as earnings growth improves," he said."

 

mitt-romney-sad.jpg?w=500 . RTX14MHT.jpg?1383161042

 

 

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John Boner; re: Obamaconomy
April 24, 2014

 
"I don’t have any issue with the Tea Party. I have issues with organizations in Washington who raise money purporting to represent the Tea Party, those organizations who are against a budget deal the president and I cut, that will save $2.4 trillion over 10 years. They probably dont know that total federal spending in each of the last two years has been reduced, the first time since 1950.
 
 
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Manufacturing; U.S. Surprisingly Competitive!!
April 24, 2014
 


"Forget what you think you know about high-cost and low-cost countries for manufacturing because there’s been a dramatic shakeup over the past decade. According to a report by Boston Consulting Group, the U.S. has shot up the ranks of competitiveness, while Brazil has foundered badly.

The report ranks the world’s 25 biggest exporters of manufactured goods in terms of direct costs of production—factoring in wages, productivity, and electricity and natural gas. Indonesia and India are the cheapest and next-cheapest in terms of those direct costs. But they have other problems such as poor infrastructure, says Justin Rose, a co-author of the report and partner at BCG. Brazil’s costs have gotten as high as those of Western Europe. Mexico, on the other hand, has made big productivity gains.

The 10 biggest exporters account for about 70 percent of global manufactured exports–and are therefore destinations of choice for most companies locating new plants. China is still No. 1, though its lead has narrowed. The U.S. has moved into the No. 2 spot, followed by South Korea, the United Kingdom, Japan, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and France."

 

https://fluentinforeign.wordpress.com/2014/04/

 

 

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$trong Con$umer $pending
May 1, 2014
 
 
"U.S. consumer spending recorded its largest gain in more than 4-1/2 years in March and factory activity accelerated last month, reinforcing views the economy was regaining steam.


Economic growth stalled in the first quarter after a very cold and disruptive winter, but the data so far point to a strong second-quarter rebound.

"The weakness in growth we saw in the first quarter is not indicative of what is going on in the economy. The fundamentals continue to look pretty good, the economy has momentum," said Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group.

That was also the largest gain since August 2009 and put consumer spending on a strong upward trajectory heading into the second quarter."

 

 

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"Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, which is seen as a measure of business confidence and spending plans, increased 3.5 percent, the largest rise since January 2013, rather than the previously reported 2.2 percent."

 

 

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Service Industry;

ROMPIN' & STOMPIN'!!

May 5, 2014


"Service industries expanded in April at the fastest pace in eight months, a sign the biggest part of the U.S. economy will bolster growth this quarter.

“Things are getting better,” Robert Stein, deputy chief economist at First Trust Portfolios LP in Wheaton, Illinois, said before the report. “Among the top line numbers, we’re seeing a re-acceleration of the economy. Consumers are in excellent shape and spending is going to continue to grow this quarter.”

Confidence is building,” Anthony Nieves, chairman of the survey, said on a conference call with reporters. Employment has to increase in this sector if business keeps growing.”

Demand is getting a boost as more Americans find work. Labor Department figures last week showed America’s job-creation machine kicked into higher gear in April. The 288,000 gain in payrolls exceeded the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey and followed a 203,000 advance in March. The unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent, the lowest level since September 2008."

 

 

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HOME STARTS JUMP!!
May 16, 2014
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"The pace of U.S. home construction jumped in April to its highest level since November, led by a jump in starts on multifamily projects, showing builders returned to sites after freezing temperatures restrained work earlier this year.


Housing starts climbed 13.2 percent to a 1.07 million annualized rate following March’s 947,000 pace, the Commerce Department reported today in Washington. Starts exceeded all analysts’ forecasts, with the median estimate of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg calling for 980,000. Permits for future projects increased, a sign activity might accelerate in coming months.

An almost 40 percent increase in construction starts on multifamily projects such as condominiums and apartment buildings accounted for almost all of the April gain, as single-family activity was held back by declining affordability. Hiring gains may spur a rebound in residential real estate after unusually harsh weather held back construction at the start of the year.

“Single-family is still concerning, but multi-family is going full throttle,” said Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial Corp. in Birmingham, Alabama, who had forecast 1 million housing starts.

“We’re seeing job growth pick up, income growth pick up, and now there’s talk of loosening up credit for home purchases,” and those “should contribute to a pick-up in single family activity.”

 

http://www.stockwatch.com.cy/el/node/333841

 

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"Job openings in April soared to their highest level in almost seven years in another sign of the labor market's growing strength.

Employers recruited candidates for 4.5 million open jobs in April, up from 4.2 million in March and the most since September 2007, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

Openings are now "in shouting distance" of their pre-recession high, 4.6 million, in March 2007, observed Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi."

 

 

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"The federal budget deficit for fiscal 2014 reached $439 billion by the end of May, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported Friday.

The eight-month total is $188 billion less and is the smallest since President Obama took office.

Most of the change from last year was due to revenue, which grew by 7 percent. Spending fell by 2 percent.

Revenue is increasing as the amount paid in salary and wages increases along with job growth, and because of the expiration of tax breaks such as the 2 percent payroll tax break that ended in December 2012. The last months of calendar year 2012 are in fiscal 2013.

The largest “spending cuts” reported in the period were actually increased payments from troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have become profitable again. Fannie and Freddie contributed $42 billion more so far this fiscal year.

Defense spending was down $25 billion and spending on disasters and unemployment benefits also fell."

 

 

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"The federal budget deficit for fiscal 2014 reached $439 billion by the end of May, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported Friday.

The eight-month total is $188 billion less and is the smallest since President Obama took office.

Most of the change from last year was due to revenue, which grew by 7 percent. Spending fell by 2 percent.

Revenue is increasing as the amount paid in salary and wages increases along with job growth, and because of the expiration of tax breaks such as the 2 percent payroll tax break that ended in December 2012. The last months of calendar year 2012 are in fiscal 2013.

The largest “spending cuts” reported in the period were actually increased payments from troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have become profitable again. Fannie and Freddie contributed $42 billion more so far this fiscal year.

Defense spending was down $25 billion and spending on disasters and unemployment benefits also fell."

 

 

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"U.S. stocks rose on Friday, with the Dow industrials and S&P 500 hitting records while extending a five-session climb that has both benchmarks on track for weekly gains.

Wall Street continues to react to the Federal Open Market Committee's monetary decision on Wednesday and the comments that followed from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, said Paul Nolte, a senior vice president and portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management: "she's telling financial markets, 'don't worry, be happy,' we're going to keep interest rates low."

Another strategist pointed to the ongoing rise in the semiconductor sector as an illustration that market participants anticipate increased economic growth ahead.

"Investors in those sectors are seeing increased GDP six months out, they are very cyclical, very GDP and consumer driven; it's signaling people buying semiconductors are looking for an upturn in the economy six months out, which dovetails very nicely with what Ms. Yellen was saying," said Joe Peta, managing director at Novus."

 

 

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"I think the market will continue to bode well for job seekers, especially in health care and seasonal employment," Metts said. "The unemployment rate will hold steady through the third quarter, but will most likely inch up heading into the winter months, again returning to typical seasonal patterns. I think we're at a healthy rate, returning to pre-bubble levels."

 

 

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Existing Home Sales
SURGE
!!!

June 23, 2014

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"A wavering housing recovery found firmer footing last month.

Sales of previously owned homes jumped 4.9% from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million in May, the National Assn. of Realtors said Monday. It was the largest increase since August 2011 and beat expectations.

Analysts had forecast sales to reach about 4.75 million last month.

The positive report comes as the housing recovery has faltered. The market slowed toward the end of last year after prices surged and mortgage rates rose. High costs have deterred potential buyers and held May sales 5% below a year earlier.

But there are signs buyers are returning. The sales increase from April marked the second consecutive monthly gain, and April's figures were revised upward.

Buyers are coming off the fence for several reasons, the Realtors said: Mortgage rates have stabilized, and owners are increasingly listing their homes for sale. That's giving buyers more options and tempering price growth."

 

 

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"Sales of new U.S. single-family homes jumped to a six-year high in May, the latest indication the housing market was starting to dig out of a recent soft patch.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday sales surged 18.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000 units. That was the highest level since May 2008, while the increase was the biggest since January 1992.

Higher mortgage rates and a surge in prices amid a dearth of properties available for sale have weighed on the housing market since the second half of 2013. But as mortgage rates level off, signs of life are emerging.

A report on Monday showed sales of previously owned homes, the largest segment of the housing market, recorded their largest increase in more than 3-1/2 years in May."

 

 

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"The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded further in June, driven by the fastest growth in output and new orders in over four years, an industry report showed on Tuesday.

Financial data firm Markit said its final U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to 57.3 in June, the highest reading since May 2010. The preliminary read for the index was 57.5.

A reading above 50 signals expansion in economic activity.

"Business was booming at U.S. goods producers in June," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

"Factory output, order books and payroll numbers rose at some of the fastest rates weve seen since the recession, rounding off the best quarter for four years in terms of manufacturing expansion."

A read on employment showed continued growth, and was slightly higher from the previous month."

 

 

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smirkbush.jpg


"The most striking fact about the cost of the war in Iraq has been the extent to which it has been kept "off the books" of the government's ledgers and hidden from the American people. This was done by design. A fundamental assumption of the Bush administration's approach to the war was that it was only politically sustainable if it was portrayed as near-costless to the American public and to key constituencies in Washington. The dirty little secret of the Iraq war – one that both Bush and the war hawks in the Democratic party knew, but would never admit – was that the American people would only support a war to get rid of Saddam Hussein if they could be assured that they would pay almost nothing for it.

The most obvious way in which the true cost of this war was kept hidden was with the use of supplemental appropriations to fund the occupation. By one estimate, 70% of the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003 and 2008 were funded with supplemental or emergency appropriations approved outside the Pentagon's annual budget. These appropriations allowed the Bush administration to shield the Pentagon's budget from the cuts otherwise needed to finance the war, to keep the Pentagon's pet programs intact and to escape the scrutiny that Congress gives to its normal annual regular appropriations.

With the Iraq war treated as an "off the books" expense, the Pentagon was allowed to keep spending on high-end military equipment and cutting-edge technology. In fiscal terms, it was as if the messy wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were never happening."

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/mar/11/us-public-defrauded-hidden-cost-iraq-war

 

 

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Obamaconomy;
NOT FOR THE FAINT-OF-HEART!!!!


30-Reasons-Why-People-Should-Be-Getting-

 

 

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"Strong news about the U.S. economy pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 17000 for the first time Thursday, bolstering the belief among investors that the five-year bull market has more room to run.

The Dow's move came just 153 trading sessions since it first closed above 16000 on Nov. 21, 2013, making it be the seventh-fastest 1000-point gain in the blue-chip barometer's history.

The jump above 17000 was spurred by a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing U.S. employers added a net 288,000 jobs in June, well above the 215,000 expected by economists.

The unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 6.1% in June, from 6.3% in May.

But for now, stock investors don't see higher interest rates as an immediate worry, given that inflation pressure is still low.

Instead the evidence of an improved labor market was seen as supporting the run higher in stocks this year.

"This gives confirmation that broader economic trends are pretty healthy." said Michael Purves, chief global strategist for Weeden & Co.

Mr. Purves was especially heartened by the fact that the numbers for April and May were revised upward. "We're starting to see some real consistency," he said. "That is very important for investors who are late to the party" and missed the 2013 rally."

 

 

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The BULL Is BACK!!!
July 14, 2014


"Stocks have shaken off last week's Portuguese bank scare. The Dow is back above 17,000 and is once again at a record high.

The rally comes as Goldman Sachs released an upgraded target for the S&P 500. Analysts there now think the blue chip index will hit 2050 by year's-end instead of 1900.

The S&P 500 has been hovering around 1980 all day."

 

 

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RAI$E$ MORE Likely!!!!
July 21, 2014
greenspindollar.gif

"Forty-three percent of economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics said their firms have increased wages in the last three months. That's up from last year, when only 19% of economists were reporting wage gains.

Even if wages aren't going up at your workplace, the tide of cutting wages might be done. No one reported pay cuts at their firm, while 57% said wages were flat.

As for the future, 35% of economists said they expect their firms to raise wages in the next three months with the other expecting wages to stay the same.

While the survey is encouraging, other data show wages are rising but not enough to keep up with rising prices. In fact, once inflation is factored into the equation, so-called "real wages" were actually 0.1% lower in May, than they were a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has said she wants to see wages rise faster than inflation this year so households experience a real increase in their take-home pay.

"If we were to fail to see that, frankly, I would worry about downside risk to consumer spending," she said at a press conference in June.
"

 

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