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Markets / Commentaries

Fourth Quarter Gross Domestic Product Is Revised From 2.6% to 2.2%

Harvey S. Katz, CFA | 02/27/2015

The U.S. economy, which had slowed its rate of improvement during the fourth quarter to begin with, as the initial estimate of the period's gross domestic product had shown a reduction from 5.0% in the July-through-September term to 2.6% in the latest stanza, has seen that latter rate dwindle further, to 2.2% in the period's first revision.

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Stocks / Commentaries
Wallet Wars

Adam James Platt | 02/27/2015

Apple Pay is a promising advance in the way we make payments, but it will face strong competition from Google and others, as well as roadblocks from large retailers that are banking on the success of CurrentC.

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Stocks / Commentaries
Retail Roundup: February 26, 2015

Andre J. Costanza | 02/26/2015

Retailers continue to post mixed results as the operating landscape of the industry remains a bit perplexing. Indeed, holiday season results have been all over the place despite what seems to be overall improving consumer confidence trends.

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Markets / Commentaries
New Home Sales Remained Near Multiyear Highs In January

William G. Ferguson | 02/25/2015

At 10:00 A.M. (EDT), we received another report on the housing market when the U.S. Department of Commerce issued new residential sales data for the month of January. At first blush, the report was decent. Although new home sales were down nominally on a sequential basis, they were above the consensus expectation and still running nicely above the prior-year figure.

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Stocks / Highlights
Using a Value Line Report: JNJ

Paul E. Debbas, CFA | 02/25/2015

Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) is one of the largest companies in the world. It has brand names that are familiar to most consumers, such as Band-Aid, Tylenol, and Listerine. The company also sells pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Indeed, J&J has a long track record of success. Earnings and dividends per share have risen every year since the turn of the century, and the company’s record of earnings and dividend growth actually goes back far longer than the figures on our page (31 years for earnings, 52 years for dividends). However, the company is facing some challenges.

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Markets / Commentaries
Consumer Confidence Dips In February 2015

Harvey S. Katz | 02/24/2015

The Conference Board, a private research organization, reported that its monthly survey on consumer confidence came in lower for the current month--as well as lower than expected.Specifically, the survey registered a reading of 96.4 in February. Now, on its own, this was a good result, being double what it had been at the nadir of the last recession. Nevertheless, that result was still below the 103.8 score registered for January.

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Stocks / Highlights
Dow 30 Earnings: The Home Depot Fiscal Fourth Quarter 2014

Matthew E. Spencer, CFA | 02/24/2015

Shares of The Home Depot climbed after the world's largest home-improvement retailer announced better-than-expected January-period sales and earnings. Although unfavorable currency movements are likely to weigh on fiscal 2015 results somewhat, investors did not appear overly concerned.

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Markets / Commentaries
Existing Home Sales Turn Lower In January

Harvey S. Katz, CFA | 02/23/2015

The cold weather is apparently beginning to bite, if just incrementally, on average. Thus, after the economy had been seemingly much more resilient to a myriad of weather-related issues in 2015 than in 2014, the latest such disruptions, albeit less severe for the country, at large, than a year earlier, is still hurting some key markets, including housing.

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Stocks / Commentaries
Oil Prices Finally Find Some Support

Robert Mitkowski | 02/23/2015

Following months in freefall, oil prices have bounced off their January lows. But experience suggests there are more ups and downs to come.

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