Stocks surged to new all-time highs following today’s big economic data dump. But that rally faded a bit.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,323.1 (+50.5, +0.3%)
- S&P 500: 1,859.4 (+5.1, +0.2%)
- Nasdaq: 4,308.1 (-10.8, -0.2%)
And now the top stories:
- As expected, Q4 GDP growth was revised down. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, GDP grew at a 2.4% rate, down from 3.2%. Personal consumption growth was slashed to 2.6% from an earlier estimate of 3.3%; economists were looking for 2.9%. However, the biggest drag to growth continues to be government spending, which is negative. Meanwhile, the core PCE deflator, an important measure of inflation, was revised up to 1.3% from 1.1%.
- The widely followed Chicago purchasing managers’ index unexpectedly climbed 59.8 in February from 59.6 in January. Economists were looking for 56.4. “The latest Chicago Report confirms that the US economic recovery continued in February, with New Orders and Production remaining at high levels,” said MNI Indicators’ Philip Uglow. “In line with the pick-up in demand, firms continued to rebuild inventory and just over 50% of respondents said they planned to increase stock levels over the next three months.”
- The University of Michigan’s index of consumer confidence inched up to 81.6 in February from 81.2 in January. The sub-indices for economic outlook and inflation expectations both climbed. “While the recent trend in consumer sentiment has leveled off somewhat in recent months, we expect it to move broadly higher throughout 2014 as housing and labour markets continue to improve,” said Barclays’ Cooper Howes.
- The S&P 500 touched an all-time intraday high of 1,867.92 before retreating.
- On Saturday, Warren Buffett will be publishing his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. Plan on staying in.
- Don’t Miss: The 5 Greatest Letters Warren Buffett Has Ever Written »
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