Business News

Down January - New Hope for February

Happy Ground Hog Day.  Investors are happy to be turning the calendar, with the S&P 500 coming off its second consecutive January selloff, posting its biggest monthly losses since January 2014. (CNBC)

It was an exciting Super Bowl and last night Americans consumed1.25 billion chicken wings.  The total price tag for food for the big game was over $14 billion. (Market Watch)

December personal income increased 0.3% as spending declined 0.3%. That means Americans saved a little. (Bloomberg)

Costco plans to return $2.2 billion to shareholders through the payment of a special dividend. The $5-a-share distribution will be funded from existing cash and additional borrowings. (Bloomberg)

Consumers started the year feeling very upbeat about the economy, with the sentiment index hitting its highest level since 2004. The preliminary January reading of the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment index jumped up to 98.2. (Reuters)

The S&P 500 is up 5 and the NASDAQ is up 7.  The MSCI International Index was down 1.58% on Friday.

Oil is up 17 cents at $48.15 a barrel. Union leaders called strikes at nine U.S. refineries-accounting for more than 10% of U.S. capacity-in a bid to pressure oil companies to agree to a new national contract covering workers at 63 plants. (Reuters)

Gold is down $5 at $1274 a Troy ounce.

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