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Mr. Market was in an oh um mood yesterday as the S&P 500 and NASDAQ ended near the flat line.  The markets shrugged off less than stellar jobs and non-manufacturing sector production numbers and seemed to blame them on poor winter weather. (Seeking Alpha)

The number of US companies planning layoffs in February declined 24% from a year earlier to 41,835.  The financial sector made up almost 25% of the months layoffs. (Challenger, Gray & Christmas)

Costco profits fell 15% to $463 million for the latest quarter. Sales increased 6%.  Discounting during the holiday season hurt profit margins and foreign exchange rates from international operations also stunted the bottom-line. (Reuters)

Retailers that don’t figure out how to compete in the world of online shopping may go the way of the dodo bird.  Staples is closing 225 stores as more and more office supplies are being purchased online.  The move will save the company $500 million by 2016.  Which stores will be closed is unknown. (Bloomberg)

Ford, the only domestic auto manufacture not to be bailed out by the federal government and tax payers, saw sales in China climb 73% during the first two months of the year.  The Ford Focus is the bestselling car in China. (CNBC)
 

Traffic

 

 

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

 

  • I-84,Troutdale MP 17 - 62, in the Coumbia Gorge remains closed. The highway is closed EB at Exit 17 in Troutdale. Trucks use US-26 to OR-35 as an alternate route.

 

  • Construction at 27th Street . Northbound Lane Closed from Ferguson to Bear Creek.  Detour in place.

 

  • 27th and Bear Creek Rd intersection varying traffic control changes

 

  • O.B. Riley Road South-bound lane closed south of Mervin Samples Rd (12/17)