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U.S. housing starts declined 2.6% to an annual rate of 1.25 million units in January. Homebuilding is up 10.5% from January 2016. Single-family homes, which accounts for the largest share of the residential housing market, climbed 1.9%. The volatile multi-family housing segment starts tumbled 10.2%. Permits for future construction jumped 4.6% for the month to a rate of 1.29 million units, the highest level since November 2015. Builders continue to grapple with shortages of skilled labor. (Commerce Department)

Industrial production contracted in January, weighed down by a sharp decline in utilities, a move that is more reflective of the weather than economic activity. Manufacturing grew 0.2% and mining, which includes oil and gas, jumped an impressive 2.8%. (LPL Research)

Kraft Heinz a U.S. food company which owns Heinz Ketchup and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese has made an offer to merge with Dutch consumer goods company Unilever in a deal worth an estimated $125 billion. Unilever owns brand names Hellmann's mayonnaise, Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Knorr soups. Unilever has declined the proposal. (Reuters)

Join us the weekend for Financial Focus Radio when we will tackle the question … … “when will this bull market end?”

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 

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Help Puerto Rico

Most organizations are asking for cash, rather than supplies, so they can route help to where it’s needed most more quickly. Here are some of the largest groups with campaigns underway:

 

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  • Click on the link for the latest conditions on the mountain passes.

 

  • Intersection of NW Broadway Street and NW Delaware for waterline replacement project, road closures with detours clearly marked for thru traffic, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily with roads opened nightly. Motorists are encouraged to avoid this area and use Bond Street and Wall Street.

 

  • Nels Anderson Road between Nels Anderson Place and Brandis Court, single northbound shoulder closure will be in effect, two-way traffic to be maintained. Project completion expected December 2017.