U.S. producer prices rise to 6-year high in 2017

  • January 11, 2018
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U.S. wholesale prices rose in 2017 at the fastest pace in six years, a buildup in inflation that could push the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates more aggressively unless it lets up. The producer price index increased 2.6% last year, even after a small decline in December. The PPI dipped 0.1% last month. The

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Jobless claims hit nearly 4-month high at start of 2018

  • January 11, 2018
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Initial U.S. jobless claims, a tool to measure layoffs, climbed by 11,000 to a nearly four-month high of 261,000 in the seven days ended Jan. 6. That’s the highest level since mid-September and well above the 248,000 forecast of economists. The more stable monthly average of claims increased by 9,000 to 250,750, the government said

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Euro spikes higher as ECB minutes suggest possible hawkish shift toward monetary policy

  • January 11, 2018
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The euro leapt against major rivals Thursday, following the release of minutes from the European Central Bank’s December meeting that showed the central bank could shift away from its ultra-loose monetary policy efforts this year. “The language pertaining to various dimensions of the monetary policy stance and forward guidance could be revisited early in the

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U.S. import prices climb 3% in 2017 – biggest increase in six years

  • January 10, 2018
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After a big oil-inspired increase in November, import prices rose a scant 0.1% in the final month of 2017. Minus energy import prices fell 0.1% For the full year, import prices rose 3% to mark the biggest increase since 2011. Although that’s much higher than the 1.9% gain in 2016, it still reflects a generally

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A bloodbath for bonds? Here’s the tipping point to look out for

  • January 10, 2018
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First Japan, and now China, is getting markets notably the bond world stirred up. Bonds are the topic du jour, especially after the Bank of Japan got everyone a bit worked up yesterday by trimming its government bond purchases. Then this morning, Bloomberg reported China is considering cutting back on its U.S. Treasury holdings. Timing

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Relax, the Bank of Japan isn’t tapering—yet!

  • January 9, 2018
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The Bank of Japan’s decision Tuesday to reduce the amounts of government bonds it buys as part of its quantitative easing efforts sent the yen and Japanese bond yields higher. But analysts warned investors not to get ahead of themselves, calling the move more of a technicality than a tapering. The central bank cut its

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U.S. trade deficit swells to largest since January 2012

  • January 5, 2018
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The U.S. trade deficit widened 3.2% in November to $50.5 billion, the highest trade gap since January 2012. Economists polled had forecast a $50 billion gap. Imports rose 2.5% to $250.7 billion, the Commerce Department said Friday. Exports rose 2.3% to $200.2 billion. Year-to-date, the deficit is up 11.6% from the same period in 2016.

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U.S. adds 148,000 jobs in December

  • January 5, 2018
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Job growth decelerated a bit in December after two strong months. The economy gained 148,000 jobs in December after an average gain of 232,000 jobs over the past two months. Economists polled had predicted a 198,000 increase in nonfarm jobs. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, remained steady at 4.1%. Wages increased by 2.5% over the past

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Private-sector job growth sizzles in December, with 250,000 jobs added, ADP says

  • January 4, 2018
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Private-sector hiring was stronger than expected in December, according to payroll processor ADP. Employers added 250,000 jobs, more than the 188,000 jobs forecast by economists. November’s tally was revised down by 5,000, however. Almost all of the December gain was in the service-providing sector, which accounted for 222,000 of the jobs. Within services, the trade/transportation/utilities

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U.S. manufacturing surges in December, ISM shows

  • January 3, 2018
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The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday its manufacturing index rose to 59.7%, the second highest reading of the year, from 58.2% in November. Readings over 50% indicate more companies are expanding instead of shrinking. The uptick in the index was better than Wall Street expected. Economists surveyed had forecast the index would slip to

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