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Money Talk Podcast, Friday Feb. 23, 2018

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Landaas & Company newsletter  February edition now available.

Advisors on This Week’s Show

Bob Landaas

Marc Amateis

Kyle Tetting

Dave Sandstrom

(with Max Hoelzl and Joel Dresang)

Week in Review (Feb. 19-23, 2018)

Significant economic indicators & reports

Monday

No significant announcements

Tuesday

No significant announcements

Wednesday

Again pointing to an ongoing lack of inventory, the National Association of Realtors said existing home sales declined 3.2% in January, the second decline in a row. The trade group said insufficient supply is pushing up home costs beyond affordability for more Americans. The median price rose 5.8% from January 2017, for the 65th consecutive year-to-year increase. Inventory was down from 9.5% from the year before, 32nd straight decline. On a hopeful note, the Realtors cited recent gains in home building.

Thursday

The moving four-week average for initial unemployment claims fell for the fifth time in six weeks, hovering near 45-year lows. According to Labor Department data, the level of jobless applications remained 36% under the 51-year average, suggesting persistent reluctance by employers to let workers go, which could encourage consumers to spend more. Consumer spending drives about 70% of U.S. economic activity.

The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators suggests “robust economic growth” in the U.S., at least through midyear. The business research group said the index grew 1% in January, following a 0.6% gain in December. Components contributing to the latest rise included manufacturing orders, jobless claims, consumer expectations for business and the spread in interest rates.

Friday

No significant announcements

Where the Markets Closed for the Week

  • Nasdaq – 7,337, up 98 points or 1.4%
  • Standard & Poor’s 500 – 2,747, up 15 points or 0.6%
  • 10-year U.S. Treasury Note – 2.87%, down 0.1 point
  • Dow Jones Industrial– 25,310, up 91 points or 0.4%

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