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Stocks struggled for direction yesterday vacillating wildly with investors trying to digest a slew of mixed economic reports, earnings reports, and some good news on trade negotiation between the US and China.

 
The US Census Bureau said that retail sales sank 1.2% in December, the largest drop since September 2009, a few months after the end of the Great Recession.  Economists had expected sales to be flat.  Retailers faced plenty of headwinds in December, including a stock-market meltdown, sudden talk of recession, the start of the partial government shutdown and a bout of unusually poor weather.
 
Shares of the Hillsboro based Lattice Semiconductor jumped nearly 30 percent after the company issued a strong outlook for the coming year. Its shares are now at their highest point since 2004.  One of the few publicly traded tech companies still headquartered in Oregon, Lattice makes programmable computer chips used in cameras, phones, telecommunications equipment and other applications.


The IRS released data yesterday showing that the average refund size for the first 12 days of this year’s tax-filing season was smaller than it was during a similar period last year.  The average refund size through Feb. 8 was $1,949, which was 8.7 percent smaller than the same period last year. Some taxpayers that had gotten refunds in the past owe taxes this year.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, I'm Tyler Simones

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