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Yesterday’s big sell off puts the S&P 500 5% below where we started the year. The first trading day of February was off 2%, the worst start to the Valentine month for the S&P 500 since 1933. (CNBC)

 

In a forward looking sign of improvement small business lending in the US reached its highest level in seven years in December. Small business loans were up 5% from a year earlier. (Reuters)

 

US cattle inventories were down 2% in January compared to the year before. That is the lowest inventory number for January since 1951.  Cattle numbers started falling four years ago as drought and high feed costs pushed ranchers to trim their herds.  (Associated Press)

 

The ISM Manufacturing index showed continued but slowing growth at factories in January.  The index reached its lowest level in 8-months as cold winter weather slowed demand and production. This lower number is most likely a weather blip and is seen as an outlier number. (Bloomberg)

 

Global defense spending is on pace to increase this year for the first time since 2009.  The defense industry is led by the spending of the US ($582 billion), China ($139 billion) and Russia ($69 billion). These spending increases are leading US contractors to project increased sales and profits (Bloomberg)

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:

 

Traffic

 

 

  • 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.