Big Pictures Weekly Recap of Economic News

1) Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed 14,000 for the first time since October 2007
2) 50% of large cap stocks reported earnings: 73% > profit projections, and 65% > sales estimates
3) Housing, consumer spending and business investment were stronger in Q4.
4) Revisions add 127,000 jobs to November/December NFP
5) S&P 500 rallied 5.2%, its best January since 1997
6) Worldwide, Equities added $2.6 trillion in value in January
7) Pfizer’s spinout of $2.2 Billion Zoetis reopens IPO market
8) Case Shiller index printed at 5 year highs
9) U of Michigan U.S. consumer sentiment rose to 73.8
10) US automakers posted double-digit sales gains for January: Ford +21.8$, Chrysler +16.4%, GM +15.9%
11) Personal income surged 2.6% versus expectations of a 0.8% rise, driven by “pre-cliff” special one-time dividends.
12) Senate approves bill that will allow new borrowing
13) Nikkei 225 is at its highest level since April 2010
14) Chinese (manufactured) manufacturing index expanded in January
15) ISM index rose to 53.1% from 50.2% in December
1) U.S. economy shrank for the first time in more than 3 years in Q4, with GDP falling at an annual rate of 0.1%
2) Q4 GDP negative caused by a sharp drop in government spending
3) Possible first ever filibuster from the GOP of a cabinet nominee, Chuck Hagel (DoD)
4) Unemployment ticked up marginally from 7.8% in December to 7.9% in January.
5) Suspending talks on our $16.4 trillion debt ceiling through May 19 (although some think this is a positive)
6) Clashes erupt in Egypt on second anniversary of uprising. 60+ people killed
7) Consumer Confidence plunges to lowest level in 14 months — 3rd straight monthly decline.
8) Merck saw a drop in Q4 earnings; stock drops 3% despite sea of green.
9) U.P.S. reports a loss on $3 billion noncash pension charge, forecasts lower 2013 profit
10) Spain’s IBEX 35 index fell a whopping 5.7% this week.
11) The outspoken, charismatic ex-mayor of New York City Ed Koch has passed away at 88.

Job Growth, Productivity, and Labor Force